FRACKING could restart in weeks as a crunch report into reopening drill sites is due in days.
He said he would “consider the next steps” — but insisted he would only give it the go-ahead if locals backed it
In a speech yesterday he vowed Britain should “use all the tools at our disposal to ensure our energy security”.
And he said that when Russian tanks rolled into Eastern Ukraine it focused minds on to generating “the fossil fuels we need here at home”.
Mr Kwarteng said: “It’s an imperative, it’s not a mere option. We have always been clear that shale gas could be part of our future energy mix.
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“But we need to be led by the science and above all we need to have the ongoing support of local communities.”
Green campaigners say Britain should not be digging for more dirty and polluting fossil fuels, which are destroying the planet.
But those in favour of fracking, which was suspended in 2019, welcomed the news.
Ex-Brexit chief Lord Frost said: “The decision about fracking can’t be delegated to scientists.
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“Ministers have to make their minds up, on the basis of scientific advice, but also broader factors like energy security and whether people can afford their energy bills.
“The Government has to take a lead and do the right thing — which is to resume fracking.”