THE recent raft of anti-fracking letters include emotive messages but few facts. Here I briefly respond to some of those letters.
At the PNR shale gas well site in Lancashire, Cuadrilla has initially contributed £10 million pounds into the local economy including 64 jobs, seven apprenticeships, £435,000 paid in community benefits. These figures are independently verified.
Farmers receive payments if directional drilling occurs beneath their land and rent for well sites or pipelines. Bradford County in Pennsylvania initially had 1,000 wells drilled over four years, the highest number in the Marcellus shale, tourism spend rose by 65 per cent during the same period. We all benefit from public services funded by the tax revenues paid by the gas industry, supply chain and their employees. Imports contribute zilch.
In January 2017, Friends of the Earth had to withdraw an anti-fracking leaflet for misleading the public after the Advertising Standards Authority intervened. After 14 months of investigation, FotE failed to substantiate their claims that fracking increased the risk of cancer and asthma, caused water contamination and negatively affected house prices. Weather and climate are not the same. Wastewater disposal is the primary cause of the recent increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma, not fracking.
Finally renewables, theoretically, sound lovely. Compare a five-acre gas well pad producing 9.5TWh over 25 years to a solar park of 2,283 acres or a wind farm of 3,583 acres industrialising our countryside.
Renewables still require trucks, new roads, transmission infrastructure with visual, noise and abandonment issues. Decarbonisation is increasing our energy bills. Recent claims that heat-related deaths are set to reach 7,000 by 2050 ignores the more shocking figure that around 30,000 people can die in the UK annually from fuel poverty. Fuel poverty kills, fracking does not.
From: Hazel Winter, Kirby Misperton.
MY local experience since October has made me even more concerned that our local communities cannot be adequately protected, particularly if the fracking industry rolls out quickly with no restrictions on distance from settlements or proliferation. Nobody says the industry is safe and many countries are not prepared to take that risk.
Our Government, local MP Kevin Hollinrake and campaigners like Lorraine Allanson believe it can be made safe with the right restrictions and monitoring, yet these are being eroded. We have yet to experience fracking in Kirby Misperton, but the Environment Agency’s report on the monitoring of fugitive emissions already shows an increase in pollution. They state this is mainly from increased vehicle movements and the use of cranes/generators on site.
What cannot be measured is the increase in local conflict caused by this controversial industry. Being given £100,000 will just add to that conflict.
Urban foxes had no choice
From: Lorna B Young, Kirkby Avenue, Sheffield.
IN response to a recent letter, I would like to point out that the urban fox did not choose to live in cities (who would ?) but, rather, has been driven to do so by the destruction of its natural habitat by relentless building over the countryside by unscrupulous planners.
It is a natural predator but has hardly anything to predate upon in the cities, owing to the proliferation of concrete and decking “gardens”. Therefore it is driven to eke out a meagre food supply with discarded take-aways. This is why people feed them.
From: Mr J Hepworth, Rolston, Hornsea.
CHRIS Packham is asking for public support for his campaign to save nature.
As we have done for many years, farmers live, and love, the environment around them. The re-establishing of natural areas carefully needs managing. All this advice is offered free to farmers but the problem lies entirely with Defra who painfully drag their feet which puts many farmers off, as many of these inspectors cannot tell a daffodil from a dandelion.
Farmers do not deserve the ridicule as we are desperately trying to get our customers to buy British – if they can.
Keep up the good work
From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.
WHEN Christa Ackroyd was on BBC TV Look North with the excellent (and he still is) Harry Gration, I found her very irritating.
Recently she has started a weekly Wednesday column in your Life & Style supplement and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of her contributions.
In every article she has spoken with good honest common sense and logic. Many of the things she remembers from “the good old days”, and what her parents said, all bring back happy memories to me. Please Christa, keep up the very good work.
From: Janet McCulloch, Grosvenor Crescent, Warmsworth, Doncaster.
I HAVE been following the recent correspondence about presents for teachers (Christa Ackroyd, The Yorkshire Post, July 25) and would like to point out that while it is pleasing to think that children and families want to give teachers presents, there is a rule that we are not allowed to accept gifts and tokens which are worth more that £10.
Most teachers do not expect gifts at the end of the year, they are only too happy to have helped the children make progress in their learning. I find that the best present I can have is the occasional letter from past charges.