MP Ben Wallace lobbies for fracking cash

Ben Wallace MP
Ben Wallace MP
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Ben Wallace has met Government officials to ask for a share of the potential multi-million pound profits from fracking to be given to community projects in Lancashire.

The Wyre and Preston North MP is not convinced by the claims of job numbers to be created by the controversial process, which involves pumping gallons of water into rock to release shale gas.

But he believes revenues from energy group Cuadrilla Resources’ work could be high and that a tax could provide ‘significant benefits’ to his constituents.

The company is carrying out exploratory drilling at sites including Banks, near Preston, and in Singleton, Weeton and Westby.

Mr Wallace held at meeting at the Treasury where he argued that if the firm gets the go-ahead to drill commercially, residents should not lose out financially.

He said: “The real point is to get an acceptance in principle that these shale gas revenues should go to communities in Lancashire, and they be used for the long term benefit of these communities so they can share in what is a national strategic asset.

“If this shale gas happens, and there’s lots of barriers to get through and it may not be what’s right, but it’s important we’re prepared in case it does.

“The worst thing would be if it did go ahead and we got nothing.”

Mr Wallace also held talks with the lead shale gas official at the Department of Energy.

He said: “There has been much talk about the hundreds of billions of pounds worth of gas under Lancashire and I am keen that if fracking goes ahead Lancashire get a good deal - there are potentially billions of pounds at stake for the county and I want to ensure my constituents directly benefit from any future cash.

“Shale gas exploration could unlock a total regeneration of the county and I am determined to ensure the revenues don’t disappear into the treasury.”