[Mr Graham Brady in the Chair]

– in Westminster Hall at 3:49 pm on 6th September 2012.

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We constantly monitor and assess risks to ensure that there is adequate gas capacity, and the Government are working to ensure that planning and regulatory barriers are minimised so that the market can continue to provide such capacity. The UK oil refining industry, with its good links to other European refiners and access to

North sea crude oil, provides the UK with a secure, reliable and economic source of transport fuels and other petroleum products. I heard what my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) said about that, and I emphasise that the UK’s refining industry has developed a strategic policy framework for the UK—we will be saying more about that before the end of the year.

I have talked about the diversity at the heart of our policy. That diversity requires each part of the energy mix to be commercially viable. Many points were made about viability and its relationship with what the Government do and do not do. I do not have time to respond to them, but I assure hon. Members that such points are at the heart of my early investigations into the subject, my discussions with officials and my connections with the industry.

On reliability, it is vital that we have the right electricity grid to connect generation to demand if we are to ensure energy security, to meet our climate change targets and to deliver affordable electricity. The “connect and manage” grid connection regime is enabling the faster connection of new generation projects, and significant transmission investment has been approved in principle by Ofgem to extend and reinforce the onshore transmission network. As has been said, gas plays a vital role in our electricity supply. My hon. Friend the Member for Warrington South talked about a dash for gas. I would not put it in those terms, but he is right that gas will continue to play a significant role, and it is vital that we have a considered strategic view of what that means.

Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

Order. I remind the Minister that we have only one minute left for the debate.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I am about to leap to my exciting peroration, Mr Brady.

The report, which was introduced with style by my hon. Friend the Member for South Suffolk, is important. It is now for me to sit down and allow him to say a word in conclusion.

Photo of Tim Yeo Tim Yeo Chair, Energy and Climate Change Committee, Chair, Energy and Climate Change Committee 3:59 pm, 6th September 2012

I thank the Minister for giving us at least a brief set of headlines in response to the debate. He did not have time to do more than that, so we sympathise with him. I reiterate that we are looking for an energy policy that is made in the Energy Department, not in the Treasury, and for a policy that is predictable, certain, stable and supportive of the goals of affordability, security and low-carbon.