July 20: We should not allow Ryedale countryside to be industrialised by fracking

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From: Ian McDonald, Salton, York.

HAVING researched widely on the pros and cons of fracking in the UK and beyond, I have reached the firm conclusion that this should not be allowed to industrialise our countryside, reduce the quality of life of the populations affected and 
impact significantly on the farming and tourism businesses (The Yorkshire Post, July 14 and 15).

Part of my concern is the fact that the shale gas industry will be self-regulated. And linked to this is the worry that the companies involved have to be completely open and honest in their 
dealings with the communities involved.

What comfort can we take from the recent debacle surrounding Third Energy’s planning application to North Yorkshire County Council?

As can be seen from the letter from NYCC to Third Energy regarding their decision not to validate the application (obtained through the Freedom of Information act) the omissions, errors and general lack of clarity was staggering. And this from a company that the Government would trust with the economic future of our region.

The utter contempt for the planning process reflected in this application raises the question of their integrity and motivation if they were to be given permission to proceed.

We must raise these issues and ensure people in the North and beyond can make a measured decision on allowing this contentious industry into our back yards.

From: Paul Morgan, Barton-Upon-Humber.

A FEW more weeks on into the fracking debate, and, as someone who remains to be convinced one way or the other about its merits, I’m none the wiser. The debate is generating lots of heat and smoke, but no convincing arguments.

I’m no more persuaded by a pro-fracking report sponsored by the energy companies, than I am by an anti-fracking report sponsored by environmental groups. Where is the unbiased information to inform someone like myself? Perhaps a few brown-field sites should be identified for small-scale controlled fracking to identify exactly what the issues are, and what mitigation is possible.

Then, if it proves feasible to expand to wider scale operations, some reassurance can be had that processes have been adequately tested. All energy production creates some environmental damage. It seems to me that we’ve got into a position where the Green lobby is now arguing amongst itself about what damage is acceptable, and what is not.

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