We agree with Star editor, James Mitchinson, (Fracking debate needs information, August 20, 2015), that “the public are right to be sceptical about what may happen” if the shale gas industry gets going.
The Government is too close to industry lobbyists and jealous of the shale gas boom in the United States. But that boom cannot be replicated in this far more densely populated country.
Even if operations were to be properly regulated, serious impacts, such as noise and traffic problems, would be unavoidable.
The Government says it is “maintaining strong environmental controls” but those controls are constantly being watered down.
Just a fortnight ago, it was announced that local authorities will now be expected to decide on fracking planning applications within 16 weeks.
Yet major energy schemes have always taken much longer than this to assess due to the complex issues involved.
There is another, more serious problem with fracking. Ministers claims that it can fit with our carbon budgets.
But these are budgets for emissions from burning of fossil fuels, not for digging them up.
These fuels are sold on international markets and UK shale gas can only add to the total supplies of gas in the world.
Then our country would fail to do our share towards keeping global temperature rise within two degrees.
Greater investment in renewables and in insulating homes and buildings would be far better policies in terms of jobs, our environment and our communities.
Sheffield Climate Alliance