Fracking threatening development of energy alternatives

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From: Simon Bowens, Yorkshire and Humber Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, York Place, Leeds.

CAROLINE Flint is right to raise the prospect that the coalition Government’s obsession and drive towards fracking threatens the region’s potential to develop a green economy (Yorkshire Post, February 3).

The economic damage that fracking could do to our economic prospects just adds to the dangers of fracking including local environmental damage and increased climate change.

People across Yorkshire are already expressing their concerns about the inherent risks of fracking and demanding that their voices are listened to.

To rebalance the economy, as the Government promised they would, we need to realise the potential to build a world-class renewable energy engineering supply chain around the Humber and accelerate the opportunities for SMEs to manufacture and install smaller scale renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

We need to see real commitment from all political parties to make this happen so that Yorkshire can be at the heart of a clean, affordable energy future for the UK.

And we need to avoid the hype from the fracking industry and their cheerleaders in Government that will lead us down a blind alley of fossil fuels and massive environmental risk.

We’ve started to unleash our potential but the Government’s ‘dash for gas’ threatens to stop us in our tracks.

From: Coun Andrew Cooper, Lead Eurocandidate, Yorkshire & The Humber Green Party, Brockholes, Holmfirth.

IT was encouraging to see Labour MP Caroline Flint saying what Greens have been saying all along – that fracking is a threat to Yorkshire and the Humber.

However, Ms Flint might want to reflect on Labour’s ambivalence on fracking. In spite of her words locally, her party is supporting the process across the country and although during its time in office Labour had a better record on promoting renewable energy that the shambles that passes for coalition policy, it was still half-hearted and ill thought out.

We are now left with the real danger that as continental Europe – Germany especially – invests more and more successfully in expanding their renewable sectors that Britain is getting left behind thanks to the continuing ill-starred romance that the Tories, Lib Dems, Labour and Ukip have with oil and gas.

From: Michael A Clynch, Huddersfield Road, Inbirchworth, Sheffield.

AMERICA is the most litigious country in the world yet has embraced fracking with no significant legal or environmental problems and now enjoys a bonanza in low cost, secure, independent and clean energy.

We have the most regulated country in the world from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, local authority planning systems and government scrutiny of foreign investment projects.

The North of England for years had deep mining of coal reserves extending miles into built up areas with massive waste tips and risk of serious subsidence in properties. It was also the most dangerous job environment for workers.

However, the benefit to working communities in job terms and secure energy that mining provided drowned out the so-called Green Party activists who were regarded as crackpots.

Fracking is clearly safe (it has taken place in England for years), has very little impact on the surface and the required fissures, deep in the ground and tiny in diameter, simply close up when pressure ceases without loss of stable strata.

We have the opportunity of many new jobs, secure and cheap energy, little environmental impact (a drilling rig has far less visual impact than the ludicrous windmills which deliver nothing in national energy terms) and cash help for communities for decades to come.

Friends of the Earth and the one-member Green Party can live in freezing third world conditions if they like but the rest of us want to keep the power on and fracking is the answer.

From: Colin Seabrook MBE, Skerne, Driffield.

UNFORTUNATELY due to the juxtaposition of my letter (Yorkshire Post, January 27) with the fracking debate Beryl Williams of Wakefield must have thought I was anti–renewables.

Far from it. I endorse her opinion that wind turbines are best placed in the sea, but reiterate that they are inefficient, expensive and not the only option. Who will pay for their removal when this is proven to be the case?

It may interest your correspondent to know that not only have we enjoyed the benefits of photovoltaic panels for some years but professionally I am working on the design, build and installation of tidal turbines for power generation.

Tidal power is, of course, reliable and free and does not despoil what was once our green and pleasant land. I hope this clarifies my stance on green energy.