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Report (3rd Day)

Part of Infrastructure Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 10th November 2014.

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Photo of Lord Young of Norwood Green Lord Young of Norwood Green Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills) 5:45 pm, 10th November 2014

That is an indisputable fact and I am glad it has been affirmed. I may not have been there when the earth moved for the noble Baroness, but I am going by the evidence of the recorded seismic shock. I again appeal to the House: that is what we must do if we want to win the battle of ideas. It is a really important one.

Of course we need to get the regulation right, but it needs to be proportionate and evidence-based. We have the capacity to do that. If we do not, we will see what has happened in Balcombe and in various other parts of the country. Instead of fracking being seen as a perfectly valid contribution to energy security, the cost of energy and the capacity to create a significant number of jobs, those who are opposed to it will succeed in creating the view that it is something to be feared. I do not believe that that is the case. Noble Lords do not need to look just at the evidence of the report. Durham University, in a totally independent survey, addressed the issues in a serious way. The industry is not financing it; it is totally independent research.

I welcome the amendments because it is important that the House debates this issue and makes clear what we expect from regulation. We and the public expect a safe, regulated, transparent and accountable process. I look forward to the Minister addressing those concerns.