The North East Somerset MP joined the Telegraph’s Christopher Hope Friday’s Chopper’s Politics podcast to discuss whether fracking could be used as an affordable means to heat British homes. Boris Johnson suggested he would revisit the 2019 moratorium on new fracking sites after Brexit Britain pledged to block imports of Russian oil.
The Prime Minister also faces growing pressure amid concerns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could cause a further strain on the cost of living crisis and energy bills.
Tory MPs have pushed the Government to ease current restrictions on allowing fracking firms to access the Bowland-Hodder shale gas basin.
Experts suggest the UK could become self-sufficient in natural gas for half a century if just 10 percent of the estimated in-place resources were recovered, according to the Telegraph.
Mr Johnson’s 2019 manifesto suggested fracking could be allowed if it was done safely.
The Prime Minister said at the last election: “We placed a moratorium on fracking in England with immediate effect.
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“Having listened to local communities, we have ruled out changes to the planning system.
“We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.”
Mr Rees-Mogg has said he now hopes to start a debate on “the definition of what is safe”.
The Brexiteer ex-Leader of the House of Commons told Mr Hope: “We need a good understanding of what the real risks are before we can decide whether or not it is safe.
“We have set limits on site seismic activity that are so low that they can only be measured with specialist measuring equipment.
“That’s fine. But in the meantime, let’s do it for ourselves.
“Let’s make sure we have energy security. All life is about balancing risk, isn’t it?
“That’s just the nature of humanity… there are risks in terms of the effect on areas.”
The Brexit Opportunities Minister’s comments come after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was said to have led a push within Cabinet to convince the Prime Minister to approve the return of fracking in the UK.
However, other Cabinet Ministers, including Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, are reportedly yet to be convinced and instead believe the safety of such drilling techniques remains unproven.