All-Party Parliamentary Group on Shale Gas Regulation and Planning

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APPG logo 2016-17

The APPG on Shale Gas Regulation and Planning was set up by Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake in March 2016 after he had resigned as vice chair of another related APPG, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas.

His resignation came after pressure from his constituents over his role in that group, which has received much funding from the shale and unconventional gas industry and is run by a giant PR and lobbying firm Hill and Knowlton.

Hollinrake was appointed chair at the new APPG's inaugural meeting in March 2016.

However, the APPG only lasted just over a year until May 2017. It was not re-formed after the 2017 general election and as of October 2017, no announcement had been made by Hollinrake as to why he had discontinued the group, and nor had he responded to requests for more information. [1]

Funding

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project
Hollinrake initially said that the group was to be self-funded and that 'no sponsorship would be received from any outside bodies'.

Purpose

The Group's purpose is 'to recommend an effective regulation and planning regime should shale gas extraction take place', and according to Hollinrake, 'not to discuss the pros and cons of shale gas extraction'.

At its first meeting, the following areas to be 'investigated' by the group were suggested and agreed:-

  • Possible water contamination
  • Potential earthquakes
  • Economic viability
  • The function and remit of UKOOG
  • The role of the Planning Inspectorate
  • Density of sites
  • Community benefits and how they would be paid
  • Medical concerns
  • The provision of independent research to the public

Members

Events

2016 APPG meetings

Inaugural general meeting and outinle of agenda

  • 24 February: The APPG's inaugural annual general meeting was held between 10:00-10:32am in Portcullis House. Committee chair Kevin Hollinrake outlined the group's aims and a future workplan.[3]
  • 23 March: Outline of the agenda for future meetings. Held 10:00-10:23am in Room R, Portcullis House.[4]

The state of regulations on fracking

  • 20 April (10:45-11:20am in Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster): Minister of state for energy and climate change Andrea Leadsom speaks about the opportunities a UK shale gas industry present and considered the need for setting up an independent regulatory body on fracking. [5]
Members present: Martyn Day MP, Tom Elliott MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Lord Truscott, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Baroness Young of Old Scone
In attendance: Andrea Leadsom MP, Mark Ellis–Jones, Charlotte Danvers, Tony Almond, Jim Neilson, Dr Doug Parr (Greenpeace), professor Richard Davies

Potential impact of the shale gas industry on the UK's landscape and infrastructure

  • 7 June (4:00-5:00pm in Committee Room 7, Palace of Westminster): Discussion on national planning policy, and the potential impact of the shale gas industry on the UK's landscape and infrastructure. [6]
Members present: Michelle Donelan MP, Tom Elliott MP, Graham Evans MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Lord Truscott, Lord Wigglesworth
In attendance: Chris Stratton, Greg Shillabeer and Darren Hendley (Arcus Consulting), Richard Blyth, Louise Barr, James Henderson

Compensating communities affected by fracking

  • 7 September (3:00-4:34pm in Committee Room 9, Palace of Westminster): Discussion on how to allocate financial compensation to communities adversely affected by fracking. Senior industry executives from INEOS, Third Energy and IGas were questioned on the upper limit number of fracking sites in exploration licence blocks. Also present is Bishop Graham Cray, speaking on people's worries about fracking in Kirby Misperton. [7]
Members present:Sir Kevin Barron MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Mark Menzies MP, Lord Palmer, Julian Sturdy
In attendance: Bishop Graham Cray (Frack Free Ryedale), Fabian French, David Gill (Northern Gas Networks), Ken Cronin (UK Onshore Oil & Gas), John Blaymires (Igas), Tom Pickering (INEOS), David Robottom (Third Energy)

Impact of fracking on communities

  • 8 November (3:00-5:00pm in Committee Room 9, Palace of Westminster): Speakers from campaign groups stated they lacked confidence that proper regulations could mitigate the consequences of fracking operations. Amy Nassif, representing an American anti-fracking campaign group, gave a detailed account of her community's experience with fracking in Pennsylvania, and urged the UK to learn from American mistakes and use robust planning to safeguard residents. Parish councillor Gordon Smith said fracking did not pass the test of being safe, supported or sustainable. [8]
Members present: Kevin Hollinrake MP, Mark Menzies MP, Lord Steel, Lord Wrigglesworth, Baroness Featherstone, Lord Jopling
In attendance: Bishop Graham Cray, Amy Nassif, Cllr Gordon Smith, Barbara Richardson

Waste water from fracking

  • 14 December (4:05-5:27pm in Committee Room 11, Palace of Westminster): Concerns were raised that the costs of treatment, transport and management of waste water from fracking risk making the industry commercially non-viable and cause a net loss in energy production. A representative for the Environment Agency insisted UK's regulations were fit for purpose, but could not specify how the industry would transport and dispose of treated waste products. Also discussed were the implications of Brexit on environmental regulations and the differences between the US and the UK's potential shale industry.
Members present: Kevin Hollinrake MP
In attendance: Laura Grant (CIWEN), Mark Ellis-Jones (Environmental Agency), John Busby, Dr Jim Marshall (Water UK), Dafydd Williams (Yorkshire Water plc)

Resources

Notes

  1. Melissa Jones, Fracking parliamentary groups hang up their hard hats, Spinwatch, 5 October 2017
  2. Members, APPG website, accessed 10 November 2016.
  3. Minutes of the inaugural annual general meeting, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 27 September 2016
  4. Minutes of the reconvened inaugural annual general meeting, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 27 September 2016
  5. Transcript of APPG on shale gas regulation & planning 20th April 2016, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 27 September 2016
  6. Transcript of APPG on shale gas regulation & planning, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 27 September 2016
  7. Transcript of APPG on shale gas regulation & planning Wednesday 7 September 2016, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 20 September 2016
  8. APPG | Agenda, APPGShalegas.uk, accessed 10 November 2016.