At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Alan Whitehead MP asked David Cameron whether the government will fully publish the heavily redacted Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report. The Prime Minister committed to look into the matter.
This follows yesterday’s meeting of the Infrastructure Bill Committee, where Alan called for the report to be published in its entirety. Minister for Climate Change, Amber Rudd, said she would look into why the report has not been published.
Speaking after PMQs, Dr Whitehead said:
“It’s impossible for our Committee to properly discuss the issues before us without the report being available in its full form. Large sections of the report, dealing precisely with the impacts of fracking have been redacted.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the government has something serious to hide about fracking and its impacts. It is imperative that the report is published in full in order for a proper debate to take place and to dispel the enormous cloud of suspicion that will hang over any further attempts to keep parts of it secret. I urge the Prime Minister to publish this report.”
- Alan is a member of the Infrastructure Bill committee which is scrutinising government legislation which would give more powers to fracking companies. As a member of the committee he has tried to amend the legislation so that the cumulative impact of fracking in a local area has to be considered.
- The Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report was first partly published in August and contained 63 redactions, including most of the details of the impacts of shale gas and even the author’s name.