From: John Allott, Unite national officer for coal.
COAL was responsible for kick-starting the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago and generating much of the country’s energy needs since then (The Yorkshire Post, December 18).
The closure of Kellingley colliery is a sad end to the proud history of deep mining coal production in the UK. There is a future for coal in the UK and it is not a lost cause. We urge the Government to turn more attention to surface mining and its future development and creation of much-needed employment.
We are sitting on a sea of coal that Ministers now seem to have discarded in their energy calculations, despite the fact that we are living in an increasingly insecure world where oil and gas imports could be under threat.
The last straw was the jettisoning of the £1bn carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition by chancellor George Osborne last month that would have given coal a real future, while keeping carbon emissions within EU limits. This technology is already used effectively in Canada and Sweden.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd does not seem to have a grip of her portfolio and appears to be rudderless under the weight of Treasury pressure. Coal is a victim – as are the dedicated workers at Kellingley – of this policy of drift, cutbacks and short-sightedness.
Currently 31 per cent of electricity comes from coal burning power stations, but a third of this is expected to close by next year and by 2023 the National Grid expects all the power stations to close, leaving a gaping hole in the UK’s capacity.
When the sun is not shining, the wind is not blowing and there is peak demand, we need other affordable, reliable and secure sources of UK energy supply.
From: Grahaeme Lauder, Woodlea Park, Leeds.
I WRITE with regard to your Editorial on the Leeds pollution tax (The Yorkshire Post, December 18) and your assertion that “the continuing absence of any kind of rapid transit scheme, despite more than a decade of procrastination over the Supertram and Trolleybus schemes, continues to besmirch the reputation of Leeds, and any profit generated by this new scheme must be re-invested in the city’s creaking public transport network.”
If the Leeds Trolleybus scheme goes ahead public transport will continue to creak as no one, not even its promoters, believe it will reduce congestion. As for profits there is no guarantee that there will be any profits. It all depends on the deal struck with the private bus company that runs the scheme. The council will pay the company a fee, and if revenue exceeds this fee, then the council will retain the surplus. If it doesn’t, then the council will be out of pocket. Even if there is a profit, it may well not be invested in public transport. Instead it will finance the budget overruns of the scheme or be used to pay compensation to bus companies that suffer adverse effects.
From: Rachael Maskell, Labour MP, York Central.
I WILL do everything to ensure that it is the people who decide whether or not there is fracking in York (The Yorkshire Post, December 17). Hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gases from between the rock seams does carry risks and it is vital that local people are equipped with the facts and are all given a voice.
If people across York say “no”, then I will do absolutely everything to ensure that their will is upheld. The last City of York Council made it clear that it was not supportive of planning applications for fracking. I will share more information after I have had further discussions with the company, however from all the research that I and my office have carried out, I believe that the Government was wrong in issuing a licence to an area which covers such a historic city, homes where people live and to our surrounding natural environment. I will also ensure that other schemes proposed in the area do not impact on our water supply.
From: John Watson, Leyburn.
HOW often do we get, in this country, storms like they had in Cumbria? And how often do we get the “global warmers” blaming it on minute rises in world temperatures? I was at school in 1947 when we had probably the worst winter in living memory. When we went for walks, some of the local roads were impassible with drifts as high as the tops of telegraph poles.
A few years later in 1953 we had the bad floods with fatalities down the East Coast. In 1963 we had another hard winter with snow on the ground for six weeks or more, and in 1987 we had gales like we have never before experienced. In all those cases of severe weather, the words “global warming“ were never even mentioned. I wonder why!
In my lifetime there have often been extremes in weather patterns in these islands and it was always a natural occurrence.
We now have a situation where we are covering our beautiful countryside with monstrous windmills and solar panels. Well, I suppose the scientists who started all this may be right but do they ever give a thought to the distress and upheaval they have caused with their theories? They are not always right.
From: Michael Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.
CONTINENTAL members of the EU say that they want the UK to remain in the European Union (The Yorkshire Post, December 19). Why would that be?