Britain’s New Energy Minister: Fracking Will Benefit The Whole Country

  • Date: 17/08/16
  • Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Blackpool Gazette

Britain’s new energy minister, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, shares her thoughts on fracking

Lancashire sits above a rich vein of shale rock deep beneath the surface which could create an exciting new industry with considerable benefits across the country.

As the new Minister for Energy, I am committed to delivering an economy that works for all, ensuring the benefits of economic growth and investment are spread as widely as possible.

The consultation on the Shale Wealth Fund that we announced is an important part of making this happen.

It will give everyone a say in how up to 10 per cent of the tax revenues from fracking can be reinvested into local projects and infrastructure in communities and regions hosting shale sites.

We propose initially to set the maximum pay-out at £10 million to each community or region associated with an individual shale site over the lifetime of the site, which is likely to be around 25 years.

It does not stop there. As part of the consultation we are also now proposing options to give some of the proceeds to individual local residents, after the Prime Minister changed the plans as part of her drive to deliver a thriving economy for everyone.

This important change will ensure that there is a greater focus on control for local communities – including proposals to transfer funds directly to individual households rather than local authorities.

Being an ex-businesswoman, I strongly believe shale is an exciting opportunity not to be missed.

It could have an extraordinarily positive effect on our economy similar to the US experience, creating a large number of jobs for local people, as well as benefits to a wide range of other businesses throughout the community.

Indeed, according to a report published by Ernst & Young, investment in shale could reach £33 billion and support 64,000 jobs in the oil, gas, construction, engineering and chemical sectors – meaning more financial security for working people and their families.

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