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The former Brexit Party and UKIP leader took aim at the ex-Conservative MP over shale gas extraction during his show on GB News on Wednesday. Lord Goldsmith, who entered the Upper House after losing his Richmond Park seat to the Liberal Democrats in 2019, previously shook off calls to bring back fracking after he said the practice could lead voters to punish the Tories at the ballot box.
However, Mr Farage cited a new Savanta ComRes survey which found a plurality of Brits support the return of fracking.
The opinion poll revealed 44 percent of respondents said the UK should favour ending the temporary ban on shale gas extraction.
Whereas 36 percent of respondents opposed the move and one-in-five Brits were undecided.
The survey also showed 41 percent of UK adults think the Government’s net zero targets have weakened Britain’s energy security and should be “reconsidered” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking about fracking and net zero, Mr Farage said: “A few weeks ago, I said here on GB News that I was really going to start campaigning hard to question what was being done in the name of net zero.
“The madness, as I see it, of importing energy that we could produce here and exporting manufacturing goods just to bring the goods back into this country.
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“Well, opinion poll research out today from ComRes saying there is now a majority of people that think we should start to frack for onshore gas.
“There’s a big number of undecideds, I grant you that, but there is a big majority that now think we should do that.”
Mr Farage then turned to fire a shot against fellow Eurosceptic Lord Goldsmith.
The ex-MEP said: “Poor old Lord Zac Goldsmith.
“He will be terribly upset.
“He is determined that we should import everything into this country and produce virtually nothing.”
Goldsmith, who was appointed as a Minister in the Foreign Office in 2019, reiterated his opposition to fracking earlier this year.
Writing on Twitter in February, he said: “The argument that fracking will reduce our reliance on Russian gas is wrong.
“Between just one and three percent of UK gas comes from Russia.
“We import mostly from Norway – a friend and ally.
“And to replace half the gas we import, we’d likely need around 6,000 new wells, with all the associated industrial equipment and endless movements of trucks ferrying toxic chemicals and wastewater to and from sites.
“It’s hard to imagine communities across the UK being ok with that.”
He added: “It’s hard to overstate just how unpopular fracking is with the British public.
“The last BEIS attitude tracker showed only 18 percent support (76 percent supported onshore wind).
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“People do not want large-scale industrialisation of the British countryside.
“And given the gas would be produced by private firms and sold at the highest price (internationally), there would likely be no measurable impact on UK gas prices anyway.
“We do need gas – it is the cleanest bridge to renewables (I’ve not seen a model that says otherwise). But the UK is not Utah.
“To have any impact at all, Government would need to rig the market and go to war with furious communities.
“On every level the cost would be enormous.”
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