The Commissioner for Shale Gas is a ministerial public appointment that acts independently of government as a contact point for residents:
- to take up their issues
- to help navigate through the regulators, industry and government
- to provide accurate and timely information about shale gas extraction
The Commissioner is not a regulator.
The Commissioner is responsible for:
- listening to the concerns of local residents in areas with planning applications for shale gas (and exploratory drilling)
- working with local residents, local elected representatives and Members of Parliament (MPs) to ensure that legitimate concerns are addressed by the industry, regulators and government
- helping to improve understanding of shale gas with impartial and fact-based information
- reporting back to government on changes that could be made to address the concerns of local residents
- working closely with the Shale Environmental Regulator team as well as the new Planning Brokerage Service to ensure accurate and timely information is available to residents
The Commissioner is not a regulator and has no powers of enforcement or investigation. To preserve the vital independence of the regulators, the Commissioner does not input to any regulatory decisions.