MARY Creagh MP, ahead of the Environmental Audit Committee, seems intent on pursuing lost causes like onshore wind turbines to achieve poorly thought-out green targets. Like every other aspect of public life, politicians look to score political points rather than spend time on providing adequate energy to support the proposed Northern Powerhouse and other worthy projects.
The fact that investment in clean energy has reduced in recent years is more down to excessive investment of taxpayers’ monies in previous years in subsidising onshore wind turbines and/ or compensating owners if the energy produced is surplus to requirements.
It is not surprising that, over the sun-drenched May Day, solar power produced record generation levels. Demand for domestic heating and lighting would have been negligible, and at lower levels in industry because of the Bank Holiday.
Going back a few weeks when we had a couple of inches of snow, the National Grid was looking to industry to ease back on energy use as solar and wind contributions were minimal and they feared power cuts.
Since these targets were set, Drax has reduced carbon emissions significantly by burning biomass from a secure supply; Ferrybridge has switched from coal to burning pelleted black bag waste; Eggborough, though facing closure, covers shortages from biomass. More and more homes are installing solar panels and various hydro-powered schemes are contributing to energy requirements.
The Environment Committee should be asked why are carbon levies in the UK at least four times higher than on the continent, why have we volunteered for such high targets and why was carbon capture abandoned in 2015?
From: Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe.
THE House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has warned “that clean energy is now at its lowest since 2008”.
It makes the Government’s claim to be green and environmentally-friendly extremely disingenuous.
Now they plan to accelerate fracking developments, against the wishes of communities.
On May 17, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced plans that could lead to the drilling of shale gas wells in England becoming “permitted development” without needing a planning application. This is the same level of oversight as erecting a conservatory.
This Government is also making “noises” about reducing the production of single-use plastics – good, one might think, but at the same time, it is supporting private companies to frack at will.
This country does not rely on Russia for gas. This is scaremongering by people like Boris Johnson. We currently import 70 per cent of our gas from Norway and around 15 per cent from Qatar.
We are so sufficient in gas reserves that we export 30 per cent to Ireland.
Foxed by hunt comments
From: N Tyler, Harrogate Road, Leeds.
WHILE waiting recently at a hospital appointment, a gentleman struck up conversation. We were having a chat about the lovely views from Pen-y-Ghent and the wellbeing benefits of walking with friends.
However the conversation turned uncomfortable when he likened the camaraderie of a group walk in the countryside with the experience he used to have when he went out with a group fox hunting.
How can the enjoyment of sharing pleasant conversation on a scenic walk be compared with that of a group of people coming together with the intention of hounding a defenceless animal to its death?
Hallelujah for preacher
From: Jean Lorriman, Huddersfield.
PERHAPS the bemused and even frowning looks on the faces of members of the Royal Family as they listened to the Reverend Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was because they have never really listened to a passionate Christian before.
Rather they attend church and listen to preachers toadying up to them, thus justifying their enormous wealth and privilege. I thought the speech was courageous and wonderful. Good on Justin Welby for inviting the Reverend Curry to preach at what was a great wedding.
Driving the poor off road
From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.
ONCE again this Government is doing its best to make things as difficult as possible for the less well off in this country to stay on the road. This week the MoT test has become much harder, which will not bother the rich because they can just say ‘fix it’.
The rich will also have the majority of new cars on the roads, the less well-off will be the ones that have to pay.
You can expect the MoT test to go up in price. This is just another move to force the poor off the road.
Keep trains in public hands
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
WHY do we put train services (The Yorkshire Post, May 22) out to private companies? We know full well from practical experience that the private companies put profit before service and, in any case, as soon as they cannot make money, they hand the whole mess back to public ownership for the taxpayer to pick up the tab. Why not just keep them as public utilities to save money?