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Shale Gas

Volume 563: debated on Thursday 6 June 2013

We have strengthened the regulatory framework to protect the environment and to ensure that hydraulic fracturing is done properly and safely. We want to encourage shale exploration. That is why we have announced fiscal incentives for developers and why we are working on a package of community benefits, such as discounts on bills for residents in drilling areas.

Given today’s announcement about community benefits for onshore wind, will my right hon. Friend elaborate on what community benefits the communities that host shale gas reserves may expect if such exploration goes ahead?

We are discussing that matter with the industry and will consult on more specific proposals shortly. It is important that residents who suffer disruption in areas where there is drilling see benefits from it, either for their local community through grants or expenditure, or, better still, through discounts on their bills, which could be significant.