To elected representatives everywhere:
Today, you had a choice.
You could have voted in favour of amendments to the Infrastructure Bill that would introduce a defacto moratorium on shale gas extracted by a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Such a ban would leave Britain dependent for longer on foreign imports of natural gas – imports that have a higher greenhouse gas footprint than domestically produced gas because of pipeline losses from Europe and the carbon intensity of producing Liquefied Natural Gas.
Imported gas also doesn’t create jobs, investment or tax revenues for Government to spend on vital frontline public services, like health and social care.
Worse still, a ban on further exploration would have a disproportionate impact on British SMEs that rely on the industry for jobs and growth.
Common sense prevailed. You voted down these amendments 308 to 58 in a vote for a more prosperous society in a stronger economy, with more jobs, investment and growth if we can make shale gas, and other forms of onshore energy extraction, a success.
It is a vote for a better climate and improvements in local air quality as gas displaces coal in electricity generation, alongside renewables and new nuclear.
And, importantly, it is a vote for the people already working hard every day in the onshore oil and gas industry, and its supply chain, to bring British energy to the British people.
Thank you for not wasting your vote. The British people were counting on you to secure their energy future, and you came through for them.