Caspian Energy Journal Caspian European Club
Wednesday, 14 October 2015 17:00

Shale is a national priority

Shale gas planning applications will be fast-tracked through a new, dedicated planning process, under measures announced on 13 August 2015, Caspian Energy News ( reports with reference to the press office of the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark announced plans that will ensure local people have a strong say over the development of shale exploration in their area – but will ensure communities and the industry benefit from a swift process for developing safe and suitable new sites.

The measures include identifying councils that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within the 16 week statutory timeframe, with subsequent applications potentially decided by the Communities Secretary.

Energy and climate change Secretary Amber Rudd said: “As a One Nation Government, we are backing the safe development of shale gas because it’s good for jobs giving hardworking people and their families more financial security, good for our energy security and part of our plan to decarbonise the economy. We need more secure, home grown energy supplies – and shale gas must play a part in that. We now need, above all else, a system that delivers timely planning decisions and works effectively for local people and developers”.

“There is huge potential right across the country for safe and sustainable use of shale gas, to provide a clean long term energy source and create British jobs and growth. People’s safety and the environment will remain paramount and communities will always be involved in planning applications but no one benefits from uncertainty caused by delays in planning decisions. By fast tracking any appropriate applications today’s changes will tackle potential hold ups in the system,” said Communities Secretary Greg Clark.

The government has made clear shale is a national priority, helping to move the UK to a low-carbon economy.

But ministers want to ensure shale applications can’t be frustrated by slow and confused decision making amongst councils, which benefits no one. If planning applications for shale exploration developments take months or even years it can create uncertainty for communities and prevent the development of a potentially vital national industry.

The measures will mean ministers will consider calling in any application for shale exploration, and will recover appeals on a case-by-case basis. On top of this, strong safety and environmental safeguards are also already in place through the regulatory regime to ensure shale exploration and extraction is safe and only happens in appropriate places.

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