The business secretary suggested that he would welcome drilling on his Sommerset land because of the “cash” royalties he would expect fossil fuel companies to offer.
Asked if would allow fracking in his back garden, he said: “Yes, of course I would. I would be delighted – particularly if I get these royalties.”
Mr Rees-Mogg said it was only “the socialists” and Green MP Caroline Lucas who oppose fracking, adding: “Well that makes my heart bleed.”
But several red-wall Tory MPs have shared their anger at the new pro-fracking policy and demanded to know how the business secretary will ensure local residents have a say.
Mr Rees-Mogg – who has not made clear whether residents would be offered cash for consent – said the conference he was in favour of financial “compensation”.
The cabinet minister said the best way to get local consent was for the drilling companies to “go door to door as politicians do at elections and ask people if they would consent … and I think people who are disturbed by the building works ought to get some compensation”.
He added: “That should be a payment to them. And then you should have a royalty for people where the shale gas comes from, which is what they do in America and is why there is such support in America. If they find shale gas under your house, you get some cash for it.”
Ms Truss’s first act in office was to lift the moratorium on the highly controversial gas extraction process – blamed for causing earthquakes in nearby towns.
Mark Fletcher, the Tory MP for Bolsover, said the vague consent plans “don’t seem to wash”, adding: “It seems to come back to local communities being bought off rather than having a vote.”
After Mr Rees-Mogg dismissed fracking critics as “luddites” in the Commons, Mark Menzies, Tory MP for Fylde in Lancashire, told him there was “nothing luddite” about the safety concerns of his constituents.
Some licences have been granted in Mr Rees-Mogg’s own patch of North East Somerset – and British Geological Survey show there could be shale gas in the area – but no drilling has been carried out there.
The cabinet minister has faced furious local protests in Sommerset since announcing the government’s decision to lift the fracking ban last month.
Charlotte Howell-Jones, of the Parents for Future UK group, said “we don’t want fracking, we don’t want new oil and gas, we want clean, cheap renewable energy – new oil and gas isn’t going to lower our bills”.
Ms Truss suggested last week that fracking could go ahead in Lancashire in the face of opposition from the local county council. The PM said she would not rule out drilling in the “whole” of the shale-rich county – but said the government was still exploring local consent mechanisms.
Meanwhile, Mr Rees-Mogg said “political reality” meant Ms Truss and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were forced to change course on the 45p top rate of tax – but he dismissed the fuss over the U-turn as “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
He said the criticism became “absurd distraction” – telling a Tory conference fringe event that some policies “do not get public consent and you cannot follow through on them.”
He also referred to Michael Gove – who has rebelled on the issue – as the “Tory Peter Mandelson”.
Mr Gove, asked about the comment while speaking in a tent next door, said it was “one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me in politics”.