Dozens of Conservative MPs in the southeast of England could see shale gas exploitation taking place in their constituencies as the government seeks to accelerate “fracking”.
No fewer than 38 out of 62 MPs in the region have land with existing oil and gas drilling licenses – and 35 of them are Conservatives.
Senior cabinet ministers are pushing hard to accelerate the arrival of fracking in the UK. David Cameron told a New York business audience last week: “Frankly, I am pretty jealous of your fracking success here in the US"
Some MPs are already privately concerned. “It’s one thing to have fracking in the vast plains of America,” said one Tory politician. “It’s a whole different matter when people will see gas production in the rolling hills of Surrey or wherever"