YP Letters: Fracking cash a case of too good to be true

From: Steven M. White, Great Edstone, York.

Fracking protesters at Kirby Misperton.
Fracking protesters at Kirby Misperton.

SOME say that great wealth and prosperity will inevitably follow the fracking pied piper (Lorraine Allanson, The Yorkshire Post, March 23). But we all know how that fairy tale ended.

Heavily-fracked Pennsylvania provides a cautionary tale of how claims by fossil fuel companies and their supporters have turned to ash: $1bn in debt prior to the fracking boom, after over a decade of fracking and 10,000 wells drilled… it is now $2.5bn in debt.

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The resurgent steel city of Pittsburgh banned fracking so as not to derail its economic recovery, which was based on healthcare, academia and high-tech companies.

Do we really want to tie Yorkshire’s economy to an unproven, dirty, boom-and-bust industry where success is determined according to prices set by the geopolitical machinations of countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the USA?

Will rural Yorkshire really soon be awash with cash donated by big-hearted corporations? Like most scams, if it sounds 
too good to be true, then it probably is.

From: Christopher Pickles, Gilling East, York.

LORRAINE Allanson (The Yorkshire Post, March 23) is mistaken. The opponents of shale has have never prevented the discussion of any benefits there might be in its development. The industry itself has been very unconvincing in its presentation of any such benefits.

She is now trying to present shale gas development as a way forward, but the industrialisation of the countryside, to the ruination of agriculture, tourism and, potentially, public health is not a way forward. Indeed, it is a step back.

Ms Allanson is extremely optimistic about the future financial success of the gas companies.

Any financial benefit to residents is dependent on the making of profits, which could only be distributed after the paying-off of debts. It is public knowledge that in the case of one particular company these amount to tens of millions of pounds.

In the United States, the greatest number of lawsuits that have been filed against gas companies have been over the failure to make good their promises of payouts. The public should not hold their breath.

As for jobs, because of the specialised nature of work in the gas field, the exploitation of shale is not likely to result in an increase of jobs for local people – rather the reverse, with the almost certain decline in agriculture and tourism.

Whether Ms Allanson likes it or not, renewables are the future. Those who oppose fracking are not Luddites.

Hanging on the telephone

From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

SO, BT has been fined a massive £42m for failing to deliver high speed cable installations to companies such as Vodafone.

Note that none of this will be paid out to the hard-pressed landline customers who are still waiting patiently for their lines to be upgraded for high speed broadband.

The deadline year, agreed between the Government and BT, was originally 2017, then moved out to 2020... and I’ll believe that when I see it.

I suspect that BT has known for some time that the fine and compensation were coming, and recently increased their monthly landline rental fee to pay for both.

When Thames Water was recently fined for polluting the Thames, they were told that the shareholders would pay the fine, not the customers.

Note that BT has not been told this, so the landline customers have already paid for it, or will do so.

Sadly, Ofcom’s action against BT has over the years been pathetic, and that is the sole reason why so many of us are still patiently waiting for our landlines to be upgraded to receive high speed broadband.

Falings of fluoridation

From: A Wills, Dulverton Road, Ruislip, Middlesex.

I READ your article “Another step taken to put fluoride in water – opposition says it shows process is a sham” (The Yorkshire Post, March 26).

Many people are concerned about this, as the biggest fall in tooth decay is in non-fluoridated Scandinavia.

Medication should be prescribed individually according to a person’s weight and general health – not given 
to whole communities with 
no control over the level of dosage received.

Fluoridation is old technology, as less than one per cent of tap water is drunk by children. Most water is used by industry and for washing and toilet flushing – so most of the added fluoride chemical is public money down the drain.

Church must take a stand

From: Norman Wilkinson, Chapel Close, Flamborough.

FOLLOWING the debate 
about the new Bishop of Sheffield, the Church does 
not need reform – it needs to go back to its roots.

Today we see, in the world, a small minority pushing their views very strongly and forcing them onto society.

Very shortly, we will see 
local councils allowing people to use the public convenience which is according to their chosen gender.

If this wasn’t happening in America, I would think it was some kind of joke – but you tell me – who is going to make a stand against it?

I doubt if we have anyone strong enough in the Church to stand against it because, as 
The Yorkshire Post said in one 
of its recent Editorials, we 
have to reflect the needs of modern society.