YP Letters: Fracking is vital to meet energy needs

What should be Britain's approach to fuel policy?What should be Britain's approach to fuel policy?
What should be Britain's approach to fuel policy?
From: David Downs, Sandal, Wakefield.

IT is the campaign by Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis on fuel poverty (The Yorkshire Post, November 29) that has provoked me to respond to Professor Kath Woodward’s letter (November 26). These pseudo-country folk are the ones who promote wind farms, providing that they are not constructed within sight of their back gardens. Fracking production sites will be no more intrusive than the many existing gas and oil wells sited around the country side, which, in most instances, can only be seen from the air.

The population of this country is increasing rapidly, thus requiring the need for more energy for heating, lighting and manufacturing: green forms of generation cannot be relied upon to provide the necessary economical energy levels that will be required.

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From: Coun Paul Andrews (Ind), Malton Ward, Ryedale Council.

LOCAL plans are important. If they are allowed to get adopted without being challenged, there is nothing anybody can do to stop unwanted development proposed in the plans. This particularly applies to the Joint Waste and Minerals Plan.

The policies of this plan would allow the development of 10 fracking pads per 38 square miles (100 square kilometres – p.92 para 5.137). If evenly spaced, this equates to a grid of production sites (each of about two hectares) approximately every three miles in every direction. Each pad will generate noise by continuous drilling, be lit up like Christmas trees at night, clog up our country lanes with huge HGVs and probably cause considerable pollution. It will completely industrialise the Vale of Pickering and the Yorkshire Wolds.

This makes me very angry because I objected to another local plan – the Ryedale Plan – on the ground that it imposed all new development onto the towns of Ryedale where there is insufficient infrastructure to support it, and left the villages (outside 10 service villages) and the open countryside untouched.

From: Steven M White, Great Edstone, York.

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OUR pro-fracking MP Kevin Hollinrake needs to cast the substantial beam from his own eye before complaining about supposed inaccuracies from others (The Yorkshire Post, November 21). The astonishing claims he has made to his constituents (or “protesters” as he pejoratively prefers) include: Pennsylvania is less densely populated than here (really? – rural Pennsylvania has only 3.5m people living in an area roughly the size of England); that we won’t have air pollution from fracking because the UK has wind, which the US doesn’t (yes really!); that the US industry has never polluted groundwater, when even Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection – castigated for poor record keeping – has confirmed nearly 300 cases, with thousands more awaiting investigation.

What has our MP achieved of his red -line demands following his much-trumpeted “self-funded” trip to the US? One-mile setbacks from settlements? Rejected. Six-mile buffer zones between fracking installations? Rejected. Only 10 new sites across his 2,200 square mile constituency? Rejected.

His failures to secure even minimal protections seem to have spurred him to still more dogged promotion of the industry. It’s mystifying.

History of flooding fight

From: Jack Caley, East Newton, Aldbrough, Hull.

THE other day, I had the opportunity to visit Epworth in the Isle of Axholme. I enjoyed lunch in a pub. Above the fireplace were farm tools that intrigued me. They were what we call in Yorkshire Sludging tools. These tools were used to clean out the sludge from the farm ditches, I have done it myself many years ago in my youth.

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One of the tools was really very old, a beautiful piece of artisan craftsmanship, probably more than 200-years-old.

The point of my letter is that that tool was used to clean the run-off of those fields all those years ago. Sediment is not just a symptom of modern farming practices, in the days of ancient Egypt it clogged up the Nile delta.

It was particularly interesting in the Isle of Axholme, just as it would be down the valley of the River Hull. Vermuyden drained the Isle of Axholme, and the River Hull valley was drained around the same time. They were very competent engineers.

Contrast that with today’s Environment Agency who refuse to maintain that hard-won drainage infrastructure.

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Today’s so-called engineers could learn so much about flood protection if they just go and have a steak pie and chips in that pub and just study that humble, fascinating little tool.

Members vs ‘moderates’

From: Brian Nugent, Halifax.

MOST political parties would be grateful for new members and proud of the fact that the Labour Party is the largest political party in Western Europe. Instead so-called ‘moderate’ MPs lead a campaign against their own membership by leaking non-stories of local parties being ‘hijacked’. Naturally journalists lap this drivel up. Before calling for a ‘competent and credible’ opposition, your columnists Tom Richmond and Jayne Dowle should look at a government visibly incapable of managing any major national policy.