PM urged to release rural fracking report that had 63 redactions

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

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David Cameron has been told he must win trust in the controversial fracking process by ordering official to publish a full report into the impact on the countryside.

Mr Cameron has been urged to back transparency by forcing the Department for Energy to reverse a decision to blank out 63 different passages in 12 page report into fracking.

Yorkshire Tory Anne McIntosh told the PM the public must be given all the facts if they are to be asked to back the controversial gas drilling technique.

Mr Cameron was being grilled by MPs on the liaison committee when he was asked by the Thirsk MP to explain why the public were being kept in the dark on issues surrounding social and housing safety as detailed in the controversial Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report.

In a confrontational exchange Ms McIntosh said that the PM’s support for fracking was unlikely to impact on his constituents, pointing out that fracking would “not be coming to Witney anytime soon,” though the PM insisted he would welcome it if it did.

Ms McIntosh told the PM: “You are asking the public to take a lot on trust, so why is the shale gas economic impact report so heavily redacted? Will you ensure an unredacted copy, particular on social impact, housing impact and safety in relation in flares is published unredacted?”

The PM said he would look into the report, telling MPs it was important to change perceptions of new techniques.

“I want to end myths that fracking would be a disaster for the environment or that GM leads to fish-flavoured tomatoes,” he said.

Mr Cameron added: “I think in the end this debate will only be won or lost when their are wells running and people can see the benefits “

Mr Cameron repeated his prediction that the UK’s first fracking wells could be developed by the end of 2015.

“I am hopeful that the first wells will be dug next year,” he told the committee. “I think it really does need to happen. We have been talking about this for long enough.”

He added: “We should be examining this industry and seeing what it can do for British jobs, British companies, British energy efficiency and British energy security.

“My objection to the green groups is that they don’t want to hear any of these arguments, because they can’t bear any new carbon-based energy source coming on stream.”

Mr Cameron predicted that the fracking industry would be “seen in a different light” once people had the chance to see the first wells in operation and assess for themselves how little disruption they cause.

“At the moment, I think we all know from our constituency mailbags people are very worried about it and I think they will go on being worried about it until they can see that there is much less to worry about than they thought.”

The PM also spoke out against wind turbines, revealing he backed those who believed the UK had enough turbines to meet its renewable obligations.

“The public are fed up with so many wind farms on-shore. Enough is enough and I am very clear about that,” Mr Cameron said.

He added that the country did not need any more subsidised turbines on land.

“Let’s get rid of the subsidy, put them into the planning system. If they can make their case, they will make their case,” he said.

“I suspect they won’t and we’ll have a reasonable amount of onshore wind, we’ll have safer electricity supplies as a result but enough is enough and I’m very clear about that.”

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