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Report (3rd Day)

Part of Infrastructure Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 10th November 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 9:45 pm, 10th November 2014

My Lords, as part of our proposals on the right to use underground land to exploit oil and gas and deep geothermal energy, each of these industries has put forward a voluntary offer for a payment and notification system. The Government support this offer. We think that the offer is in the communities’ best interests because it ensures that the payment scheme will be flexible and tailored to the specific requirements of each community. We have proposed to take a delegated power in the Bill, both as an incentive to adhere to the voluntary agreement and, if it becomes necessary, to set out the voluntary agreement on payment and notification in secondary legislation.

For instance, if the scheme were not honoured by industry, we would look at making the notification and payment schemes a statutory requirement under secondary legislation. Any regulations made by statutory instrument to set up a payment or notification scheme will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Under the sunsetting provision, the powers to make these regulations are subject to a one-off review and must be repealed if they have not been used within seven years of commencement.

The Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee recommended that regulations made under the sunsetting clause should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. We have agreed to this approach and therefore propose an amendment that seeks to apply the affirmative procedure to regulations made under Clause 36. I beg to move.