Review ‘traffic light’ fracking level and we'll reap the rewards
As a sandgrown ‘un I thought I should express my joy in learning of the positive flow rate and gas quality that Cuadrilla have just revealed.
As they have been determined to source from local suppliers it will help our local economy and more importantly enable Lancashire to play an important part in reducing imports whilst the UK continues to transition to renewables.
The Fylde should now get behind endeavours to get the traffic light system reviewed to more realistic limits. It seems unfair that geothermal drilling in Cornwall is only limited to 4.0 whilst Lancashire has a restrictive limit of 0.5 imposed on this local employer who brings prospects to our economic wellbeing.
There is an opportunity for the local media to ensure that this economic boost is maximised.
Raise limit to realistic level
It was heart-warming to see the report from the shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla showing excellent results from the initial flow tests.
There is clearly enough hard evidence that there are substantial volumes of natural gas in our area, and that it can be recovered for industrial and domestic use safely through the ‘fracking’ process.
Most people are aware that our current supplies of gas come from overseas sources over which we, as a nation, have no influence or control. The security of our supply is dependent on the goodwill of those suppliers and our ability to meet the prices in a competitive market. All of this makes for a very dangerous situation in terms of our security of supply.
To have our own “in-house” source of UK gas has to be a considerable benefit. And that opportunity is now within our grasp.
The main constraint to the fracking company continuing its drilling is that the current ‘traffic light system’ limitations have introduced an uneconomic practice of having to stop work for a specific period of time when earth tremors at a very low level are detected.
To make the whole venture economically sustainable this limitation has to be lifted to a more sensible level, and monitored as professionally as it is now.
It is, therefore, to be hoped that the Oil and Gas Authority and the British Geological Survey can now see their way to submitting to the Energy Minster a recommendation to raise these levels to a more realistic level, but, obviously maintaining the highest of safety standards.
Loneliness will just rise further
The Prime Minister recently acknowledged the vital role of buses in easing loneliness of the elderly. She has also appointed a Minister for Loneliness.
Loneliness increases in winter because the elderly are often afraid to go out when the weather is bad and not everyone can afford taxis. Fewer elderly people now use the buses due to the drastic decrease in timetables.
Some areas are lucky to have one bus an hour and, because of this, some elderly people are preferring to stay indoors – what is the use of a free bus pass if buses are decreasing?
While the PM wrestles with the wretched Brexit problem – and it has been the only topic on the political agenda for a long time – many issues are being sidelined. Homelessness, the NHS crisis and Universal Credit are only afforded a brief mention.
However, it is only ‘lip service’ which this Government is paying to the elderly by appointing a Loneliness Minister and acknowledging the role of buses. Even worse is the hidden agenda of inter-generational conflict, with those who say wealthy pensioners are the cause of many of today’s problems. Not true!
The 1930s and war-torn 40s were very hard indeed and many women pensioners today have inadequate pensions.
Moreover, what better opportunity than the demands of Brexit to bury bad news and really hit the pensioners’ standard of living?
Free television licences for the over-75s are under attack and if buses are not being used then what use is a free bus pass?
So TV and a free bus pass - essentials to a pensioner in combating loneliness – may become things of the past. Loneliness will increase and the notion of a Minister for Loneliness will have been buried long before Brexit has been resolved.