Letter: Get cracking, get fracking

exploratory fracking drilling rig. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
exploratory fracking drilling rig. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
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May I be allowed to inject a little sanity into the fracking argument?

We as a country are running out of energy, our oil supplies are depleting and our gas supplies are running down.

We are now importing increasing amounts of energy from overseas. This has two massive problems for us – we don’t have control on the price and, more important, we don’t have control on supply. Given some unpleasant people are afoot in the wider world, they have control on the tap that supplies us and that tap can be quickly turned off.

Successive Governments here of both colours have completely failed to provide adequate back-up stocks of fuel reserves. We have as many days as our EU members have weeks of stored reserves, so we cannot hang about with energy supplies. Disgracefully, we have scrapped using the still available supplies of coal, despite scrubbing technology to clean the waste, and all three parties have just announced the remaining coal usage is to be stopped.

So you see there is no thought on supplies, no thought of the little people on cost, in fact as usual no thought at all.

It sounds like we here in the North as well as others are sat on a godsend – natural gas, enough to last 50 years. But here is the good news, jobs will come with this, good jobs highly skilled jobs, that in many cases will outlast even the gas supplies.

The actual bodies operating the rigs in real terms will not be a lot. Very few people in Aberdeen, for example, work on the oil rigs. Thousands of them, however, do work on the service and supply industry to the rigs. Those jobs themselves develop other industries. Engineering, for example, may work on drilling kit for a local rig. If they are good they get overseas orders, they develop other technologies and other products.

And what have we got in Pendle? Some of the best engineering companies in the UK, very well respected, and quite able to expand to fit in new technology, and requiring new people for new jobs.

We have some of the best logistics people here, with wonderful opportunities for our young people now and their children in future. We should not let this go. If Pendle doesn’t jump in, you can be very sure other authorities forward looking will steal our chance and leave us wanting.

Now I know some people won’t agree with me. I accept that and their right to disagree. What I don’t and won’t accept is downright rubbish being spouted, frankly scare stories that don’t stand up to one moment’s scrutiny.

Some of your writers have very clearly been making the horror story up as they have been writing it, and that’s not acceptable, They have a political agenda. There are few of them but they are noisy and don’t allow dissent from their view.

Well that’s tough, because I don’t agree and I won’t be cowed by them. This is far too important for all of us. Please listen to the scientists and engineers. There have been problems in the past, but they have now been sorted.

Nobody is going to invest millions in something that isn’t safe knowing they will be shut down at the first fall. Use a bit of common sense. Don’t listen to scare stories from people who have never seen a drilling rig.

Councillors, don’t you dare sell us out because of a few noisy Greens who can only think of 23% efficient highly subsidised windmills, which are a total waste of time.

Look at the big picture for our people. The slogan should be “Get cracking, get fracking”.

Michael Sutcliff

Kibble Grove, Brierfield