Congratulations to Dan Byles

Dan Byles and his All-Party Group on Fracking made the first page of Private Eye this week!

Private Eye are at last waking up to some of the questionable aspects of this government’s much vaunted “Dash for Gas” and in todays’ issue 1347 they raise some interesting questions about arch nimby Dan Byles’ All-Party Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas. (Dan’s the man who thinks HS2 is vile but fracking is quite OK. HS2 of course will affect where he lives but fracking won’t)

What to make of Tory Dan Byles’ claims that his new all-party group on fracking will help Parliament cut through “rhetoric and hyperbole on both sides” and “get to the facts”?

The MP for North Warwickshire says he has drawn MPs from all sides of the debate who “simply want to better understand the truth”. Yet when Greenpeace examined parliamentary records, it found the factfinders were being entirely funded by the fracking industry and run by fracking lobbyists.

Since Byles set up the group, formally called at the All-Party Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas, in February it has received £25,000 from a bunch of firms including Cuadrilla, Britain’s foremost fracker. The groups other funders include petrochemical giant INEOS, which lobbies for fracking and is reportedly negotiating to invest in Cuadrilla; the UK On-Shore operators group, or frackers’ trade body; and Ove Arup, the engineering firm which did the environmental impact assessment for Blackpool fracking and Norway’s Statoil, and which has invested heavily tracking in the US.

Among the 20 MPs on Byles’ all-party group are such influential figures as former energy minister Charles Hendry. Byles himself also chairs the all-party environment group and is a member of the energy and climate select committee. But the MPs on the fracking committee need not overtax themselves by actually running it: happily for all concerned, it’s “secretariat” is provided free by Edelman – a lobbying firm which represents Cuadrilla and other frackers!

– and as we pointed out here when we broke a similar story, our own local MP Mark Menzies is one of the chairs of this oh so objective committee.

What to make of this indeed!

We’ve asked him via Twitter “what funding, if any has your APGOOUGO had from non-frackers ???”

We’ll let you know what he comes back with!

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