Tories pledge new environmental regulator for shale gas

A new body combining the expertise of the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the business, energy and industrial strategy department would be created to regulate the shale gas industry if the Conservatives retain power.

Publishing its general election manifesto, the party said that shale gas had improved energy security in the US, while reducing costs and helping to drive economic growth. The Tories said they believed these benefits could be mirrored in the UK. 

But the manifesto states that public trust would only be won if environmental regulations were upheld and the profits from exploiting shale gas deposits were shared by affected communities. It says the proposed new regulator would provide guidance, accountability and expertise, and allow decisions to be made ‘fairly but swiftly’. 

A separate regulator for shale gas was one of the recommendations of a government taskforce commissioned to consider the environmental and economic impacts of fracking in a report published in 2015.

The Conservatives also said they would amend legislation to allow applications to drill for shale gas to go ...

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