Readers' letters - 19-08-16
More jobs with renewables
The newly appointed minister is mistaken (I believe shale gas is an exciting opportunity, LEP August 16) because new polling shows that only one in three people would support fracking in their area, even if households were paid up to £10,000.
Once the details of the scheme are looked at, any hope of compensation seems shaky indeed. Any cash payments would only be after shale exploration, and from the tax on profits – if there are any.
People haven’t been fooled by the Government’s latest bribe.
This is a Government that has promised to listen to local people, but which is still trying to push fracking on communities in Lancashire who don’t want it.
Thousands of residents, over 300 Lancashire businesses, and the local parish and district councils support the democratic decision of Lancashire County Council to reject Cuadrilla’s fracking plans.
The minister mistakenly believes that fracking would create large numbers of jobs – yet Cuadrilla’s own plans show each site would create just 11 jobs.
Meanwhile Friends of the Earth’s research, backed by North West trades councils, shows that 24,000 new jobs in the region could be created in renewables and energy efficiency.
How much better to have a minister excited about supporting renewables, and at the same time acknowledge that shale gas is a fossil fuel?
So going all out for it is totally incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change. We need to move to low carbon energy sources. Trying to bribe households only shows how desperate the Government is.
Helen Rimmer, North West Friends of the Earth
You can’t have it both ways
The description of the shale gas Shangri-la, described by the Minister for Energy, would be most compelling if we had not spent the years since the only deep level, high intensity fracking fiasco actually researching the reality (LEP August 16).
In 2011, fracking company Cuadrilla had a go – they got it very wrong (as Blackpool and the Fylde can testify!) and the result was a two-year moratorium.
Since that time Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said, “thanks, but no thanks”. Only in England are voters still under the shale gas shadow.
The minister is quick to explain the benefits of shale and to reassure us that all is safe and there is only good news ahead.
At the very same time she tells us that communities where fracking is imposed will get compensation and important areas of countryside will have no fracking at all! Really, she cannot have it both ways and the problem is, the public realise this.
As awareness has grown, so too has opposition to imposing fracking upon our over-crowded country where no land is expendable.
Even a country the size of Germany has rejected fracking to protect its citizens, and it’s not alone. The You Gov Poll conducted since this latest Government shale gas charm offensive started showed that people remain unconvinced.
It confirmed last month’s poll by ComRes which showed opposition outstrips support in every region in the country. Not for the first time, treating the electorate as idiots has failed.
The Government consistently promised that a decision about specific planning proposals would always be judged on an individual basis.
By common consent, a six-week public inquiry crushed the Cuadrilla case for fracking at Roseacre Wood.
The Government should respect the policies and the process which resulted in the Lancashire decision and reject Cuadrilla’s appeal to frack at Roseacre.
It should then consider whether the majority might just be right about it all.
Roseacre Awareness Group