YP Letters: We need to have a '˜social licence' for controversial schemes like fracking

From: Jim Tucker, Hovingham, York.

Will fracking begin at Kirby Misperton in 2018?

Recently announced changes to workplace pension scheme rules to enable disinvestment from fossil fuel companies by trustees who wish to pursue ethical goals and invest for the future, not the past, signals an important change for the both the industry and potentially future government policy.

While nobody would be surprised by evidence of hypocrisy by this or any government, it is reaching the point where even Theresa May might feel some embarrassment.

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When I read of Pensions Minister Guy Opperman stating that “putting social value at the heart of our pensions system” and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch saying “we are committed to making it easier for people to invest in ways that reflect their values and …the issues they care about”, I immediately reflect on the need for some form of social licence when major developments are proposed.

When the Government-commissioned survey on attitudes to fracking reflects an overwhelming and increasingly negative view of this industry, anyone can see where this is headed but Mrs May seems to have got herself on the wrong side of the argument.

Not for the first time can her judgement be called into question, but I am left wondering if the time being taken by Business Secretary Greg Clark to approve fracking at Kirby Misperton reflects a desire for a U-turn on this. Yours in hope of a better future for our children...

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

AS Ryedale awaits, anxiously for many, for the Oil and Gas Authority’s decision to grant or refuse final permission to frack at Kirby Misperton, it is important that your readers are aware of a paper commissioned by the Friends of the Earth Europe and published by the Tyndall Centre at Manchester University – Natural Gas and Climate Change.

This paper is clear: its conclusion asserts “there is categorically no role for bringing additional fossil fuel reserves, including gas, into production”. The prospect of carbon capture and storage does not significantly affect this conclusion. Indeed, if temperature rise is to be held below two degrees, it being already too late for the 1.5 degrees aspired to.

A successful frack at Kirby Misperton will “bring additional fossil fuel reserves...into production”. It is time for Ryedale to wake up, reject fracking and support its District Council’s anti-fracking stance.