MP Stephen O’Brien took part in a debate on energy security at Tarporley High School.
Organised by the Cheshire Branch of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), the debate saw the Eddisbury MP pitched alongside industry experts and students as they discussed rising domestic energy bills, carbon emissions and unconventional energy sources, including nuclear and shale gas.
As well as providing a stimulating debate on energy, the event was a fantastic opportunity for students at Tarporley High School to explore civil engineering as a future career option.
Speaking after the event, Mr O’Brien said: “Increasing energy security is vital so that consumers, my constituents, are not hostage to the fluctuations of global gas prices, and so that we are able to keep the country’s lights on.
“As we eat further into supplies of North Sea gas and as demand for energy continues to increase, we need to invest in a diverse range of energy sources.
“I am particularly in favour of shale gas, which has the potential to create thousands of jobs, reduce our dependence on imported gas and raise much-needed revenue for the Exchequer.”
He added: “I admire the work the ICE is doing to engage with young people through initiatives such as this evening’s debate.
“They are the future of engineering, the future brains behind this country’s energy infrastructure, and the solutions to our energy security challenges.
“This evening’s debate offered a forum in which to discuss these issues frankly.
“Finally, we must strike an appropriate balance when regulating and imposing environmental targets on industry.
“If electricity becomes too expensive in this country, people will shut up shop and move elsewhere to remain competitive.
“This will often mean relocation to countries with less robust regulation than our own, which ends up causing more harm to the environment in the long run, and is thus counterproductive.”