A regional daily accused ministers of taking its readers “for fools” on its front page after the fracking ban was lifted.
The Lancashire Post depicted Prime Minister Liz Truss and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg as laughing at its patch when it covered the issue on Friday.
.Mr Rees-Mogg has said local people will be consulted before drilling resumes in any part of the country, but accused Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband and others who spoke out against it of being “luddites”.
Mr Rees-Mogg added: “The scare stories have been disproved time and again. The hysteria about seismic activity, I think, fails to understand that the Richter scale is a logarithmic scale.
“People seem to think it is a straight arithmetic scale, which of course it is not.”
But his comments provoked anger from the Preston-based Post, which ran with the headline ‘They think you’re fools’.
Post editor Nicola Adam told HTFP: “As always, the Post takes a balanced approach to news, even polarising subjects like fracking.
“But as a local title impacted by this industry we will fight the corner of our readers and residents – and having their views and concerns belittled and condescended to so thoroughly, and with so little research, within the House of Commons, is unacceptable.
“The people of Lancashire have not reacted with ‘hysteria’ nor are they Luddites. They are a hard working community, and many are genuinely concerned about the impact of the fracking industry on their lives following earthquakes in the local area and subsequent safety fears.
“There was a reason fracking was halted – and it was very much down to science – not because Lancastrians object to job creation or energy production in principle.
“We would ask if politicians so dismissive of residents’ concerns would back fracking next door to their family homes? “