David Mowat

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David Mowat
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David Mowat has been the Conservative Party member of parliament (MP) for Warrington South since 2010.

In May 2015 he was appointed private parliamentary secretary (PPS) to Greg Clark, the secretary of state for communities and local government.

He was previously PPS to Clark as financial secretary from 2012 and in subsequent ministerial roles as cities and constitution minister and later also universities and science minister.

Background

  • Former global managing partner for management consultancy firm Accenture, having qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen.

Stance on fracking

Mowat's constituency includes one oil and gas licence blocks, awarded to INOES by the Oil and Gas Authority under the 14th licensing round in 2015. There are plans for one well and 2D and 3D seismic surveying; no applications are currently underway. [1] IGas has also owned a license block covering part of Mowat's constituency since 2009 and a coal bed methane production site at Doe Green. [2] In 2011, David Mowat met with Andrew Austin, CEO of IGas, following an announcement that the energy company would be expanding the site. [3]

In August 2015, Mowat hosted a visit by the former energy minister around the IGas site. Speaking at the site, Leadsom said the site demonstrated what a 'potential hydraulic fracturing site' would look like:

'I was very impressed. It’s exactly what a fracking site would look like. You would hardly know it was there. The whole site is hardly more than the size of a hockey pitch.'

Campaigners criticised the visit as 'a sign of desperation and no more than a stunt', saying the scale and costs of coal bed methane production bare no resemblance to those needed for shale fracking. [4]

In February 2015, Mowat replaced Kevin Hollinrake as vice-chair of the parliamentary group on unconventional gas and oil.

In September 2016, Mowat condemned the Labour Party's pledge to ban fracking across the UK, saying 'regardless of who is in government, the UK will need gas for at least the next 20 years.' [5]

Commenting on the decision by the government to green light fracking in Lancashire, Mowat wrote on his website

'I’m pleased that drilling is now going to take place on a commercial basis and it will be interesting to monitor developments. There have been a great deal of allegations made about what shale gas will and will not mean – so it will be interesting to see who was right.' [6]

Voting record

Mowat has generally voted against increased regulation on fracking. [7]

  • 26 January 2015: voted against making fracking companies apply for an environmental permit before conducting exploratory drilling. He voted against an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to include an 18 month moratorium on fracking.
  • 11 February 2015: voted in favour of requiring more pre-conditions for where fracking can take place.
  • 16 December 2015: voted in favour of weakening regulations on fracking in protected areas and national parks.

Affiliations

Notes

  1. Oil and gas: licensing rounds, GOV.uk, accessed 14 November 2016.
  2. UK: IGas receives approval to produce gas from Warrington site, energy-pedia, 21 January 2009, accessed 19 December 2016.
  3. Mowat meets with IGas CEO, MP's website, 9 June 2011, accessed 19 December 2016.
  4. Lancashire anger after minister’s ‘fracking’ visit, Lancashire Evening Post, 12 August 2015, accessed 19 December 2016.
  5. Aran Dhillon, Mp David Mowat slams Labour pledge to ban fracking, Warrington Guardian, 29 September 2016, accessed 19 December 2016.
  6. Shale Gas could be a homegrown success story, MP's website, 10 October 2016, accessed 19 December 2016.
  7. TheyWorkForYou | David Mowat, TheyWorkForYou, accessed 19 December 2016.
  8. Aluminium Industry APPG,www.parliament.uk, accessed 18 November 2015