Energy crisis lifeline: Truss primed to scrap red tape and end fracking ban 'within days'

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The Foreign Secretary is reportedly planning on lifting the ban on fracking “within days” of becoming the next Prime Minister. Currently the frontrunner in a race set to reach its climax at noon today, Ms Truss is urged by industry experts to issue sweeping reforms on planning laws alongside a revival of fracking. Fracking, the process of extracting shale gas, was banned in 2019 after scientific analysis exposed the risk of seismic activity from the practice.

The industry warned the Tory leadership favourite that “comprehensive policy support” was needed in order to speed up planning and environmental permissions for fracking.

Ms Truss has repeatedly advocated for a return to the controversial gas extraction process, as a way to boost the UK’s energy security in the face of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

She recently reinforced the stance by telling BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg that extracting shale gas with onshore drilling was among her priorities.

This came after reports claimed she would end the ban on fracking “within days” of becoming prime minister.

However, the fracking industry has warned that in order to begin drilling with speed, Ms Truss would need to free companies from planning and regulatory burdens, according to the Telegraph.

Charles McAllister, director at UK Onshore oil and gas, said: “In order to facilitate timely UK shale gas production in the national interest, comprehensive policy support from the Government is required.

“This should include reform to the pace of decision making in planning and environmental permitting as well as ensuring that seismicity regulations for the industry are consistent with other sectors, such as quarrying and geothermal.

“The failure to develop the abundant Bowland Shale in the north of England poses unacceptable economic, environmental and geopolitical risks to the UK.”

READ MORE: Energy crisis lifeline as fracking tipped to slash bills if permitted

While fracking could boost energy security, a study in the US published last month found that young children living near fracking wells at birth are up to three times more likely to later develop leukaemia.

The peer-reviewed study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health found children living within two kilometres of fracking sites were more at risk of leukaemia, which is one of the most common forms of cancer in children.

Many critics of fracking argue that shale gas should remain in the ground, and instead claim that boosting domestic homegrown energy can be done through renewable sources.

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