Readers' letters - August 4
Minister's speech jars with fracking
Claire Perry has recently visited both Glasgow and Newcastle, praising the “soaring success “ of the renewables industries there, and she is due to give the keynote speech on the UK’s green policies at a Business Green conference, with the emphasis on “What can the UK do to lead the pack in pursuit of a sustainable future?”
Given that she is now the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, this makes sound sense.
However, wearing another hat, she has now given permission for hydraulic fracturing to take place at Preston New Road, and this does not sit comfortably with the Clean Growth part of her ministerial brief.
An explanation seems to be found in her evidence to a Select Committee in late May. She said: “You watch a time-lapse build-up of a well and then it goes away again… it is a temporary structure. It is simply drilling a single well to establish the presence and flow rate potential of the gas, and then it can move away again and there is no degradation of the land.”
I am not at all sure how she thinks that one can establish flow rates just by drilling, and it is noticeable that the minister has not visited the Fylde on her travels to see for herself. If she had, she would have rapidly realised that her video bears little resemblance to reality.
She also told the committee that “we must not have energy policy in this country set by ideology. It has to be based on the facts”.
Residents here have been betrayed by that simplistic video and might well feel that her decision is nothing to do with facts, but is all about ideology.