Mining for coal reserves would not be better than fracking - Yorkshire Post letters

Anti-fracking protesters at this year's Tour de Yorkshire. What are your views on the matter?
Anti-fracking protesters at this year's Tour de Yorkshire. What are your views on the matter?

From: Neil Milbanke, Thornton le Dale.

I READ with amazement the letter from Councillor Andrews on the subject of fracking (The Yorkshire Post, August 8). At first I thought it was a wind-up but then realised that it was pure scaremongering from a person with no knowledge of the oil and gas industry or of the processes of drilling and fracking a well.

There is debate over whether Britain could return to the use of coal power.

There is debate over whether Britain could return to the use of coal power.

Using coal reserves would be better than starting fracking in Yorkshire: Letters
He claims that fracking will industrialise the area with “grids of drill pads”. For his information we already have these “grids of drill pads” at Malton, Marishes, Kirby Misperton, Pickering and Ebberston moor and Ebberston south belonging to Third Energy.

I would like Coun Andrews to go out and find these well sites if he can and take photos to show the community the horrific industrialisation he is so concerned about.

Why the UK needs fracking for our future: Yorkshire Post Letters
I would also like Coun Andrews to take a tape measure with him to measure them and perhaps he should do some research into how big a hectare actually is, as he obviously has no idea.

He then goes on to quote from a 2017 paper that we have a plentiful supply of gas for the foreseeable future; well, the foreseeable future has changed somewhat since 2017. A lot of the gas we use is imported, not only from Russia but from the Middle East and elsewhere.

Considering the situation in the Persian Gulf at present, plus the fact that Vladimir Putin may well decide to shut off the supply, as he did to Ukraine a while back, it is obvious that we may not have a plentiful supply.

Power of good or a recipe for disaster? Welcome to the great fracking debate
The good councillor then goes on to say that in the event that Putin should turn off the tap we have a vast reserve of deep mine coal and we could re-open our long closed down mines. At first I thought that this was a tongue-in-cheek joke, but no, he appears to be deadly serious.

I am not sure what would be entailed in recommissioning mines that have been shut down for decades, many of them will probably be past reclaiming and I am sure that many will be flooded and too dangerous to do anything with.

I have memories of the coal industry, having grown up in a North Durham mining village, and can vividly remember the dirt and pollution and the mountainous slag heaps which often caught fire. But most of all I remember the fogs and smogs of that era, the mining disasters including Aberfan. This coal supply should be left where it is – in the ground.

I suggest that Coun Andrews sticks to “his duty to defend the interests and amenities of ward of the residents and businesses” and gets to grips with something he may actually know something about – the potholes in our area might be a good place to start.