Jacob Rees-Mogg faces protests in Somerset


Protestors in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s own constituency have expressed anger over the government’s decision to lift a ban on fracking.

The North East Somerset MP and Business Secretary made the announcement last Thursday, but some local residents strongly disagree with the decision.

A ban on fracking in England  was put in place in 2019 due to concerns about earth tremors.

Mr Rees-Mogg said allowing fracking will help with the energy crisis. He promised local people would be consulted before fracking gets under way in their area.

British Geological Survey maps show there could be shale gas under his constituency, but although licences have been granted in North East Somerset, no drilling has taken place.

Concerned protesters attending a small demonstration in Monkton Combe, near Bath, said renewable energy is the answer.

Member of Parents for Future UK, Charlotte Howell-Jones, who organised the demonstration, said: “We’re here to say that as communities we don’t want fracking, we don’t want new oil and gas, we want clean, cheap renewable energy.

“New oil and gas isn’t going to lower our bills, it is only going to raise our emissions and it is imperative at this point for everyone in the UK that our bills come down and our emissions come down.” Ms Howell-Jones said recent research says more than 75% of the UK support onshore wind farms whereas only 17% support fracking.

“Fracking takes a lot more energy to get the shale gas out of the ground, a lot more than oil and gas, renewable energy is now nine times cheaper than UK gas, and these oil and gas fields are going to take ages to come on board, so renewable energy is actually the answer.”

Fracking in the UK has been a controversial subject within local communities and amongst MPs due to its association with minor earthquakes.

Prime Minister Liz Truss has backed fracking as a way to help boost the UK’s domestic gas supplies during a time of skyrocketing energy prices.

She pledged that local support would be needed for sites to go ahead – and the Conservative manifesto for the 2019 general election said fracking would only be reconsidered if “the science shows categorically that it can be done safely”. But resident Sal Gould said she does not believe the county should be investing in more fossil fuel projects.

“I’m frustrated, worried, it just doesn’t make any sense at all, and I just can’t get my head around why they are doing it,” she said. “I think he [Jacob-Rees-Mogg] is going against what the scientists are saying, and he just needs to listen to scientists and the people.

“People are worried now and ready to do something different [renewables].”