GB News: Fracking fan Andrea Leadsom leads charge on shale gas amid energy price surge

Andrea Leadsom clashes with Dr Shola over Boris Johnson

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The ex-Environment Secretary claimed regulations had been “set too narrowly” during an appearance with GB News host Dan Wootton. Responding to Mr Wootton’s claim the UK needs to “get fracking quickly”, Ms Leadsom pointed out how this would require current regulations to be changed.

She said: “I am a big fan of what we call shell gas extraction because fracking somehow sounds like something you wouldn’t do at home.

“So, I’m a big fan of it and I think the regulations were set up too narrowly.

“So, if we are to start shell gas extraction then we would need to change the regulations.

“Particularly on tremors, which were set like a slamming of a door.

“However, on the other side of the coin, I also believe in community permission.

“So, I think it would be very important that communities would be offered free gas.”

Mr Wootton then interjected to claim many anti-fracking campaigns were funded by the Kremlin to ensure the UK was more dependent on Moscow for its oil and gas supplies.

He said: “A lot of the anti-fracking campaigns which were let’s be honest the things that made the communities uncomfortable were funded by the Russians.”

However, Ms Leadsom appeared somewhat sceptical about Mr Wootton’s suggestion.

The South Northamptonshire MP, who faced off against Theresa May in the 2016 Tory leadership race, instead pointed out that much of the opposition to fracking was based on evidence from the United States.

She said: “I’m not sure about that actually, I mean if you are telling me that’s a fact I’ll have to believe you on the face of it.

“I think where the evidence came from was the United States because landowners own the resources under the land.

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“Here it’s owned by the Crown Estate, so the planning permissions are different therefore the regulations are different.

“Here we set very tight restrictions but nevertheless evidence was coming from the states at a time when the states was a bit wild west about shell gas extraction.

“There were some bad errors made.”

Mr Wootton also asked Ms Leadsom if the Government would support fracking.

Leadsom responded by saying the Government would support communities who wanted fracking but also those who wanted wind turbines.

She also emphasised the importance of reducing energy demand through the use of smart meters.

She said: “I would hope that the Government would look kindly on communities who want to in return for free gas.

“On the other hand, I’d also like to see communities who want wind turbines in their community in return for renewable energy to do that.

“But it’s really important to reduce demand.

“We’ve got to take steps to help people insulate their homes with smart meters, being able to put the washing on at a time when electricity is cheap.

“So, actually reducing energy demand is one way of reducing bills and that would actually be the quickest way to get people’s energy bills down.”

Ms Leadsom’s comments come while the UK is set to face its biggest drop in living standards since the 1950s.

Annual disposal household incomes are at their lowest levels since 1956 hit by stagnant wages, soaring fuel costs and rising energy bills.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also faced accusations that he has targeted measures to help those with higher incomes, leaving the poorest the most exposed to the crisis.

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