Sensible-minded scientists would urge caution on fracking

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From: Justin Terry, Ruston, Scarborough.

I HAVE just finished reading all the various articles about fracking included in this week’s Yorkshire Post (Yorkshire Post, January 25). I found the articles to be intelligently written and they show both sides of the argument.

My worry, as a resident of 
North Yorkshire, is how much is known about the long term effects of such a short term “gain”.

No one in government can argue the fact that fossil fuels are on the way out. They are definitely old technologies and have been proven to alter environments.

It is also a fact that this country finds itself between a rock and a hard place when it comes to energy. We are having to de-commission ageing nuclear power plants and previous governments have not had the gumption to make up the shortfall that will ensue.

While the problem is a national one, the brunt of the proposed solution will be borne by the 
North of England, sitting as it does on top of the geological formation known as the Bowland Shale.

When I hear David Cameron say “we are going all out for shale,” my immediate thought is, “who does he mean by we?”

Any sensible-minded scientist would surely be advising caution here.

We don’t fully know what 
the fall-out of this technology might be.

The technology is new and (as far as I am aware) experts are still arguing about its safety implications to both the environment and human health.

Lastly, why have France and Germany both outlawed the process of fracking? And why are we supposed to be happy about the fact that conglomerates like Centrica, GDF Suez and Total are going to be the driving force behind extraction of shale gas in our region? When it all goes wrong they can retreat to the safety and cleanliness of their own countries!

There must be someone high up in the world of research that holds the key to the future of our energy needs. We need to find them quickly.

From Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe.

I voted No in the Yorkshire Post poll “Do you support fracking?”

I live in a village which is in 
an area described by Tory 
peer Lord Howell as being 
“large and uninhabited and desolate”.

I have news for him. There are thousands of people living in such areas.

The Government claims that fracking will provide cheaper energy. Rubbish.

We, who live out of town, will not benefit from cheaper gas because there are no gas pipes to provide it.

Why should we have all the mess and upset for something which will not help us?

People who support fracking don’t seem to live in areas which would be affected. The only people who will benefit from fracking are owners of large areas of land.

If France has banned fracking, we should too. We are not a large country like America. It seems that not all is “rosy” with fracking over there either.

Robert Reynolds concluded in his letter (Yorkshire Post, January 25): “The Yorkshire countryside is our greatest treasure. Are we really going to wreck that too?”

So again I say no to fracking in Yorkshire.

From: Chris Johnson, Exmouth Place, Bradford.

HOW revealing that Ken Cronin’s three alleged benefits of fracking – new jobs, skills and incomes - could also be applied to nuclear war (Yorkshire Post, January 27).

From: Monica C Hockenhull, Sutton cum Lound, Retford, Nottinghamshire.

THANK you for dealing with the issue of fracking so comprehensively (Yorkshire Post, January 25).

I live 900 metres from a potential fracking site (an appraisal borehole will be drilled in the next month).

1. A large swathe of North Nottinghamshire has reserves of coal bed methane, not the same as shale gas but extracted in a similar way and with the same risks. The industry says UK geology means coal bed methane is more likely to be extracted by conventional means. This does need checking. It is in the drilling companies’ interest to claim this. I suspect it is a soother.

2. With regard to jobs, fracking is highly automated and needs expertly trained personnel.

The jobs would go to putting in place the massive infrastructure needed – pipelines, access roads, lorries – all environmentally unwelcome.

3. Turning to safeguards, of course companies involved in activities of potentially high risk apply safeguards – they are liable for compensation for damage done (viz Shell Oil disaster in Florida).

Despite precautions, disasters occur – North Sea Piper Alpha, mining disasters, Blackpool earthquakes (fracking induced), Chernobyl, Japan’s atomic power station at Fukushima.

4. Whose responsibility is it to monitor fracking wells? It is the Environment Agency, which is a Government agency?

To whom does it report and how frequently? What happens 
to its reports? Are they made public?

5. Wells run dry in between two and five years. The sites are then extended to a wider area, leaving wrecked countryside behind, the damage taking years to remedy, if it can be done.