As previously revealed by Express.co.uk, Mr Rees-Mogg, who was Boris Johnson’s Brexit Opportunities minister, has been handed the role of Business Secretary. This puts him in charge of resolving the energy crisis that is currently throwing millions of households into fuel poverty, while also overseeing the country’s climate strategy. According to reports, the new Business Secretary and the new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have been in discussions with the energy supply industry to boost new oil and gas exploration.
Following his appointment, he tweeted: “As Business Secretary my overriding mission is to deliver affordable and plentiful energy to the British people and to make the economy as efficient, innovative and dynamic as possible.
“This will be the department for growth.”
Mr Rees-Mogg has been a major advocate of fossil fuel extraction in the UK, calling on the Government to extract “every last drop” of oil and gas from the North Sea.
He told LBC in April: “We want to get more oil out of the North Sea, we want to get more gas out of the North Sea.
“We need to be thinking about extracting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea.”
Aside from starting new licensing rounds for North Sea oil and gas extraction, Mr Rees-Mogg will also reportedly back plans to end the ban on fracking for shale gas in communities that support it.
He described the idea of reopening shale gas sites as “quite an interesting opportunity”, comparing the concerns over fracking to “a rock fall in a disused coalmine”.
While these moves would decrease the UK’s reliance on imported natural gas, experts have warned that it could run afoul of the Government’s commitments to reach net zero by 2050.
However, the Business Secretary’s views on Net-Zero are as clear as his thoughts of EU-era laws.
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Speaking at an event by the Centre for Policy Studies, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Net zero is going to be a huge regulatory cost and that is an issue for the country to face and to face up to.
“If we were to have a ‘one in, one out’ or ‘one in, two out’ rule, you would end up excluding net zero, as we previously excluded EU regulation, and then you’re tinkering at the edges because you’re ignoring the biggest piece of regulation.”
It is unclear whether the Business Secretary would abandon green energy projects entirely, particularly amid recent analysis finding that wind energy is nine times cheaper than current gas prices.
Analysis by the Carbon Brief found that the Government had granted a number of contracts to offshore wind farm producers to generate electricity at an average price of £48 per megawatt-hour (MWh).
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