YP Letters: There is no reason to be fearful about the future of fracking

From: Michael Baker, Aberdeen.

The government is ignoring those against fracking.

Thank you for affording readers the opportunity of discussing fracking this week. For almost 10 years now, I have been amazed by the flurry of groundless concerns raised by so many.

Your correspondent Lorraine Allanson has more of the right view of it. Fracking is an uneventful semi-industrial process which is done, over a short-time interval, at the end of drilling a well and which hardly causes more disturbance than the actual drilling. The major noticeable effect of fracking will be an increase in employment. I live in Aberdeen and can confirm that oil and gas activity brings a big increase in jobs. Oil and gas development takes place under a “contracted out” model, unlike the “in-house” model of much industry, and the contracted-out jobs provide work and entrepreneurial opportunity.

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Before I end, fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is completely conventional. The source of the petroleum might be unusual, or the angle of the bore, but fracking is just fracking. In fact the more recent fracking uses more dilute mixtures, just more water.

From: Darren Joseph, Rotherham.

I DO not claim to be any sort of scientific expert when it comes to the rights and wrongs of fracking. However, I would note that it seems entirely clear that people unfortunate enough to live close to sites now intended for this use will suffer the consequences from it.

This much has been admitted in a recent Planning Inspectorate decision to allow test drilling at Marsh Lane on the outskirts of Sheffield.

The inspector’s ruling stated there would be “slight harm in terms of the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers, in terms of night-time noise” but added this issue was only going to be given “limited weight” in the decision-making process. She said it was outweighed by the “potential” of the exploration work to improve resources for energy supplies.

Theresa May told the Yorkshire Post earlier this year that fracking will be financially beneficial to affected local communities because of potential compensation payments.

But a 2015 Government 
report suggested property values near fracking sites may in fact drop by as much as seven per cent.

Whatever the case, I somehow doubt that either the Prime Minister or any Planning Inspector would choose to live by a fracking site themselves.