Prompted by this article, I recently emailed my Member of Parliament with a few queries regarding the Infrastructure Bill which at time of writing is currently before the UK House of Commons. I have posted the text here for anyone who wishes to ask the same questions of their MP.
“Dear <Member of Parliament>,
I would like to request some information regarding your position on the Infrastructure Bill (HC Bill 124) that is currently before the House of Commons. I note that this Bill proposes an amendment of the Petroleum Act 1998 to place an obligation on the Secretary of State to produce a strategy for “maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum” (Part 5, section 36, page 39). Furthermore, section 45 of the same Bill (page 52) seems to allow for any strategy produced in pursuit of the objective of maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum to “amend, repeal, revoke or otherwise modify the application of any enactment”.
I’d like to ask the following questions regarding this Bill:
Do you and your party intend to support this Bill without further amendments to Part 5?
If so, can you confirm that you and your party consider the maximising of the economic recovery of UK petroleum to be of higher priority than reducing carbon emissions resulting from the extraction and use of UK petroleum?
If you and your party intend to support the Infrastructure Bill as it currently stands, but do not consider the maximising of the economic recovery of UK petroleum to be of higher priority than reducing carbon emissions resulting from the extraction and use of UK petroleum, please could you explain what provisions will be made to ensure that carbon emissions from the extraction and use of UK petroleum will not fail to be reduced in line with recommendations made by the International Panel for Climate Change as a result of the implementation of this Bill, should it be enacted?
If you and your party intend to support the Infrastructure Bill on condition that amendments are made to Part 5, please could you outline the nature of the amendments you would accept?
I look forward to reading your responses, and thank you in advance for your time and efforts on our behalf.
<Your postal address (to verify constituency)>”
You can find out more about the Infrastructure Bill here.
UK residents can find their local MP here.
I’d recommend against claiming that the Infrastructure Bill amends or contradicts the Climate Change Act (2008), as Mr. Monbiot does in the article referenced above: ensuring that carbon emissions resulting from the recovery of UK petroleum occur outside the UK (i.e. by exporting the petroleum) would be sufficient to avoid conflicting with the letter of the 2008 Act, if not its implied purpose.