§ Mr. Michael Latham
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy regarding the desirable depletion rate over the next 10 years of indigenous resources of each of the fossil fuels; how it is to be implemented; what monitoring devices have been established; and what effect it will have on manpower employed in (a) coal, (b) gas and (c) the oil industry.
§ Mr. Benn
The Government's policy of encouraging the development of indigenous reserves of fossil fuels is designed to help us achieve net self-sufficiency in energy in 1980. Plan for Coal, which the Government have endorsed, aims at increasing output to at least 135 million tons a year by 1985. Desirable rates of production for oil and gas after 1980, and for coal in the late 1980s and 1990s, will be among the key issues in the development of energy policy in the coming years.