YP Letters: Drax energy is sustainable and low carbon

From: Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, Selby.

Drax Power Station.

IN 2016 Drax Power produced 16 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity using sustainable biomass (compressed wood pellets) – enough to power four million UK households. The sustainably-sourced low-grade wood Drax uses to generate renewable electricity delivers at least 80 per cent carbon savings compared to coal.

Not all wood should be used for bioenergy, which is why our suppliers must pass tough screening and sustainability tests, conducted by independent auditors.

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Healthy markets for wood products promote forest growth and better carbon absorption. Since the 1950s, forest stocks in the US south – the main area from which we source – have increased by more than 100 per cent.

This does not support the claim that Drax ‘destroys forests on the other side of the globe’ (Mr M Sayers, The Yorkshire Post, February 27).

The wood we use comes from sustainable working forests which supply other industries – including construction and furniture making – with high grade timber. We take the low grade material including tree tops, limbs, sawmill residues, misshapen and diseased trees not suitable for other use, as well as thinnings – small trees removed to maximise the growth of the forest.

Mr Sayers is also mistaken when he says Drax produces very few jobs for local people. Independent research by Oxford Economics showed our biomass upgrades have helped to support 3,450 jobs in Yorkshire and Humber (excluding our employees) – while generating £203 million for the regional economy.

Sustainable biomass is the most cost-effective renewable – so as well as supporting jobs and reducing emissions, it is also helping us to keep the lights on and costs down.

Full sentence rarely served

From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.

“KILLER of ‘cherished’ academic given long jail term” screams the headline (The Yorkshire Post, February 25).

Akash Rashid, a cannabis dealer, was fleeing police and had no driving licence or insurance. He ploughed into cyclist Dr Andrew Platten who was killed instantly.

While he has been given a 10 year jail term, he will no doubt serve no more than half of that, so not really the long term that was indicated. To have to serve the full term would have been much more appropriate.

In the same paper we read about street thug Trevor Timor who killed entirely innocent Oliver Dearlove with a single punch, and was given six years for manslaughter.

Here again, a significantly shorter period will undoubtedly be served in custody, which once more is totally inadequate.

Just when, one wonders, will we ever see sentences laid down and served that actually fit the crimes? Undue leniency continues on a daily basis.

Cycle cash is ring-fenced

From: Richard Smithson, Hawksley Avenue, Chesterfield.

I’M sure Leeds City Council has already tried to make this point, but I will repeat it to get the facts straight. It seems many readers are too quick to criticise before checking the facts.

It is Government money that is allocated to local authorities that can, in turn, only be spent on cycle routes. In no way can this be diverted to spend on fixing potholes or put into improving social care.

Both are being cut year-on-year due to Government cuts to local authority spending. To repeat, it is a Government-funded initiative to encourage more cycle routes, It is either spent on this or returned to the Treasury!

Mixed-up wording

From: AG Burton, Welton Road, Brough.

THE small news item on page 11 (The Yorkshire Post, February 24) left me puzzled. The headline states “Girl, 11, grabbed by man on way home”.

When I read on, it was the girl who was on her way home from school, not the man.

Surely, the writer should be more careful, as this headline was completely the wrong way round.

Council loses confidence

From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Road, Leeds.

WITH more cracks appearing in the Labour administration of Leeds City Council, plus complaints to and expressions of no confidence in it from all sides, is it time for the council leader to fall on her sword and admit defeat?

Comedy of errors

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

WHO gave permission to drop the ITN 10 o’clock News from its late night spot to give way to so-called funnyman David Walliams?

What is more important – world affairs or cheap comedy? Now I will have to drink my cocoa after switching to another channel!

With God on his side?

From: Alan Machin, Bawtry Road, Doncaster.

COULD the cock-up at the 
Oscars ceremony be an ‘act of God’ in response to the nastiness displayed by many of the 
people there towards a fellow human being who just happens to be a rich white man called Donald Trump?