October 13: MP’s fracking findings do not reassure

From: Rosalind Field, Gilling East.

I AM not reassured about fracking after reading Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake’s account of his trip to Pennsylvania (The Yorkshire Post, October 5).

The description of his journey is of a depressing voyage through an empty landscape interspersed with fracking well pads and isolated dwellings dependent on bottled drinking water. Fracking is welcome in the rural “one-horse” towns that have fallen on hard times and can’t fill a restaurant. This does not sound like Ryedale.

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The inhabitants are cowed by an industrial giant that has taken over their lives, meekly accepting, a situation in which they keep their windows shut against noise, light and smells and their air is polluted. In one place only one per cent benefit financially, while the remainder wait patiently for the promised benefits to arrive.

Meanwhile there is concern about methane in the water and the atmosphere, the most likely cause, we are told, of low birth weights in fracking areas. Local politicians are believed to have been bought and silenced by the industry.

Mr Hollinrake’s answer to this is to have the countryside “crawling with inspectors”. And no doubt with security guards.

Do we really want a future like this?

From: Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe.

RE “Energy firm rejects concerns behind council fracking ban” (The Yorkshire Post, October 10). I am sick and tired of hearing Third Energy repeating their mantra, that gas has been produced safely in Ryedale for over two decades.

Yes, we know this, but fracking is an entirely different process and puts drinking water supplies severely at risk as well as many other problems which will occur.

We have just received notice from North Yorkshire County Council of our objection to Third Energy’s application to test frack at Kirby Misperton. The site is only half a mile from this village and Flamingo Land Park.

This plan is to hydraulically stimulate and test the various geological formations previously identified during the 2013 KM8 drilling operation. This is the same year that John Dewar of Third Energy told our then MP Anne McIntosh that Third Energy had no plans to frack in Ryedale. There is a lot of technical detail in the plan, but what stands out is a rig (maximum height 37 metres) – very discreet! – plus permament high pressure flow line and permament pipe supports at the well site. The work will be 24/7.

I am pleased that The Yorkshire Post has given the public the opportunity to vote on a five- year moratorium on fracking applications. I urge people to put in their objections to fracking to the NYCC also.

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegave, York.

THE implication in your Editorial “Fracking’s future” (The Yorkshire Post, October 10) is that “the opportunity of our lifetimes” will be realised if Third Energy works constructively with us.

The “us” referred to are at pains to point out that no matter how constructively Third Energy works with us, your “opportunity” is not realisable.

As Chris Broome points out in an excellent letter in the same edition, the International Energy Agency’s spokesman, Fatih Birol, considers that the “golden age of gas” is precisely that, and not, emphatically not, “a golden age for humanity”, and this if a well-regulated, note well-regulated, unconventional gas industry develops globally. It would seem that the evidence is against fracking as “the opportunity of our lifetimes”.

From: JG Riseley, Harrogate.

YOUR Horace & Doris cartoon (The Yorkshire Post, October 5) plays on the conspicuous failure of nature to match the expectations of global warming orthodoxy. On the facing page Kevin Hollinrake MP wrestles with the question of fracking.

If he were a true believer he would hardly endorse our embarking upon a new era of hydrocarbon extraction.

Yet he ends by proposing that the money raised from fracking be used to further subsidise renewable energy and carbon capture research. These, along with emissions trading, involve colossal cost to ourselves (and profit to others) while achieving only a charade of addressing the supposed problem. Attaching them to the fracking debate is no more than a fig leaf.

Tories’ poll tax on wheels

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

IN reply to Hugh Rogers over Labour wanting to nationalise the railways (The Yorkshire Post, October 9), it was Tory MP and railway enthusiast Robert Adley who suggested that rail privatisation would be “the poll tax on wheels”. Hasn’t he been proved right?

Of course not many people, including Mr Rogers, realise that the “privatised” railway system has actually had to be partly renationalised and is costing we the taxpayer £4bn a year in subsidies to keep the railway profiteers happy.

From: Mr R Schofield, Leeds.

A RECENT letter-writer argued that we don’t want to become like France. Well, France has had high speed railways for 30 years. They are state-owned like the gas and electric companies.

The prices charged by all 
three companies are much lower than the prices charged by the same privatised companies in Britain.

The French can build their own nuclear power stations. We have to ask them to build our power stations.