Britain should embrace fracking or be condemned to higher energy bills and fewer jobs, George Osborne has said.
The Chancellor also insisted he did not want to be part of a generation “that says all the economic activity was happening somewhere else in the world” as he reiterated his support for the extraction of underground shale gas.
He was responding to Labour’s Geraint Davies (Swansea West), who asked whether waste water from the hydraulic fracturing process would be treated so it is safe to drink again.
Standing in for David Cameron at Prime Minister’s questions, Mr Osborne replied: “We will have the proper environmental standards around the exploration of shale gas.
“But I think that for this country to turn its back on one of these great natural resources which other countries are using would be to basically condemn our country to higher energy bills and not as many jobs.
“Frankly I don’t want to be part of a generation that says all the economic activity was happening somewhere else in the world and wasn’t happening in our country and wasn’t happening on our continent.
“So we should get on with the safe, environmentally protected exploration of our shale gas.”