A region divided - readers put cases for and against fracking: Yorkshire Post Letters

Fracking continues to divide opinion in Yorkshire.
Fracking continues to divide opinion in Yorkshire.
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From: John Harrison, West Newton, East Yorkshire.

Coun Paul Andrews (The Yorkshire Post, Letters, July 31) uses a report, issued by the BEIS in 2017, to claim that the UK has security of gas supplies for the next 20 years, without the need for indigenous onshore gas.

It is important to remember that gas is one of the key pillars of the UK’s energy mix, accounting – together with oil – for 75 per cent of the UK’s primary energy demand. Power stations fuelled by gas accounted for around 40 per cent of our electricity generation during 2018 and 84 per cent of UK homes rely on gas central heating.

Read more: Why the UK needs fracking for the future - Letters
Since 2000, UK gas production has fallen 64 per cent. This has lead to the UK increasingly relying on gas imports from countries such as Qatar, the US, and, more worryingly, Russia.

Technical problems with the Langeled gas import pipeline from Norway in April this year reduced the gas flow to the UK by 37 million cubic metres a day. This resulted in a 10 per cent increase in European gas prices and illustrated just how vulnerable and dependent we are on imports.

The Committee on Climate Change in May 2019 clearly forecasted a very significant UK gas demand to 2050 and beyond – in part due to the huge potential of hydrogen, which to be affordable to consumers requires the steam reformation of natural gas. It is therefore of vital importance that we explore all avenues for meeting this demand with homegrown gas, including shale gas. This would not only help reduce carbon emissions, but also create employment and generate much-needed tax revenue for communities in the North of England.

From: Steven M White, Great Edstone, York.

Some of your readers are sadly being taking in by the fracking industry’s PR machine, so let’s get some facts straight.

1. According to some scientists, fracked gas is even worse for the climate than coal, never mind gas imports.

2. We don’t rely on Russian gas: in 2018, it accounted for less than two per cent of demand. In fact, we exported five times as much of our natural gas to other countries as we imported from Russia.

3. Industry-funded research tells us that there could be as little as three years’ worth of accessible gas from fracking , so it will never provide us with a self-sufficient supply.

Let’s drop the distraction of shale and invest in a future that doesn’t contribute to climate chaos. The sooner we start, the less painful it will be.