British Prime Minister Truss lifts fracking ban amid energy crisis

The Conservative Party banned fracking in 2019

Updated: September 9, 2022 - 9:59am

British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that she is lifting the county's ban on fracking to help reduce U.K. energy prices.

The newly-appointed Conservative prime minister made the announcement Thursday, explaining that she will allow oil and gas developers to request permission from the government to increase domestic fuel supplies.

Truss said that her hope is that fracking operations will start in the next six months and is approving 100 new exploration licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

"We will make sure that the U.K. is a net energy exporter by 2040," Truss told parliament. "We are supporting this country through this winter and next, and tackling the root causes of high prices so we are never in the same position again."

Electricity prices in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe have spiked since natural gas was cut off via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and sanctions were placed on Russian fuel supplies, after the country invaded Ukraine in mid-February, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

In 2019, the Conservative Party banned fracking – a process that harvests oil and gas from buried shale rock – due to safety concerns about the practice, according to the party's manifesto.

Truss has also capped household electricity bills for two years, at £2,500 ($2,888) a year, as part of an approximate £150 billion ($172 billion) economic package. Thousands of Britons protested the skyrocketing utility costs and refused to pay their bills until the government reduced them, according to the protest group Don't Pay U.K.

"We are facing a global energy crisis, and there are no cost-free options," Truss said.

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