YP Letters: Radical thinking from Labour as it takes stand on fracking

From: Chris Broome, Sheffield Climate Alliance, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

Opposition to fracking remians strong.

IN your Editorial “Labour farce on fracking” (The Yorkshire Post, September 27), you describe how Caroline Flint, the former Labour Shadow Energy Secretary, has said that her party must come up with alternatives to policies that it criticises.

In the case of fracking, banning it (the new party policy) or regulating it more stringently (the previous policy that Ms Flint had supported) can be done without the need for any new alternatives to existing sources of gas.

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To improve energy security and affordability, a much more reliable plan would be to reduce demand.

This could be achieved by, for example, insulating homes at pre-2015 rates again and going ahead with the zero-carbon home building standards that 
the building industry was preparing for, before the Government kicked them into the long grass.

You later claim that John McDonnell did not personally come up with an alternative energy policy in his recent party conference speech. But he did refer to, and support, the policy that the Labour Party has just announced.

It includes a commitment to produce 65 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2030. That is very radical and will doubtless come in for much criticism from those who cannot extract themselves from a “business as usual” mindset.

But it is exactly the scale of ambition that is needed to ensure a sustainable economy, in a world that will be shaped either by ambitious action or by the full consequences of failure to take it.

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

AREAS licensed for fracking in the UK should take note: it is reported that an Australian bank has pronounced that a property in Queensland with coal seam gas wells does not meet the bank’s lending criteria: “Long form valuation has revealed coal seam gas wells on the land, making the security unacceptable for residential lending purposes.”

Conservative governments tell us that fracking will not affect property prices although the US experience is different. Insurance companies and mortgage lenders in the UK are likely to be several steps ahead of the Government in this respect.

Setting aside the huge cost to our climate change commitments, the deleterious effects of fracking will not be confined, however, to those areas close to fracking sites.