Letters - December 30, 2014

Cuadrilla site on Anna's Road , Westby.
Cuadrilla site on Anna's Road , Westby.
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Fracking costs

Economic argument

Reading fracking apologist David Haythornthwaite’s letter in this paper last week I was reminded of how quickly times change.

It seems like only yesterday that Mr Haythornthwaite, who is himself one of those “wealthy individuals living in big houses” he now complains about, was busy campaigning about a single housing development that he felt would alter the character of leafy Lytham to his own detriment.

Now he is scathing of people, just like himself, who simply want to defend the local area against an entirely inappropriate level of development, and he claims to be quite happy to accept the wholesale industrialisation. That’s really quite a turnaround.

Leaving aside his inexplicable complete dismissal of the growing body of evidence suggesting shale gas extraction is responsible for some very serious health and social impacts, I am genuinely surprised by his naivety regarding the link between fracking and energy prices.

As a businessman he really ought to be able to work out the impact of the reduction in energy prices on the viability of a capital intensive process with extremely steep production decline rates like fracking.

This impact is not a good one for the fracking industry.

Here in the UK we are, as he usefully points out, not like Wyoming.

We have a much greater population density and different geology which makes the production costs much higher for the frackers.

This means that their problem is even more acute over here. Industry analyst Wood Mackenzie estimates that in order to develop UK shale gas reserves, potential operators would need a gas price of $9.68 per million British thermal units (mbtu) for the project to make any economic sense.

This is considerably more than the $8 per mbtu that Bloomberg forecasts it will hover around between 2015 and 2020. To put it simply, shale gas extraction needs high energy prices to be economically viable, so Mr Haythornthwaite’s dreams of “a reliable cheap energy source” are nothing but a fantasy.

We have been told repeatedly by ministers, government departments , analysts and even Cuadrilla themselves that fracking will not be a cheap energy source.

John Hobson


Political fracking

Votes issue

Very interesting letters from Messrs Shrive and Ellwood Your Say, Tuesday.

I particularly agree with Mike Ellwood about the lack of commitment either way on this subject by our MPs.

UKIP has come out in favour, the Greens have declared against.

Nothing from the main parties, why is that I wonder?

Scared of losing the party whip Mr Menzies? I can guarantee that if fracking goes ahead you will almost certainly lose your seat, even in this safe Tory rural area.

I will not waste readers’ time by repeating all the arguments against this polluting practice.

But just spare a thought for the densly populated sites that are within pollution distance of the proposed sites i.e. Carr Hill School, Kirkham Grammar School, HMP Kirkham, Weeton army barracks.

Given an east wind, the whole of the Fylde coast could get a whiff of whatever pollutants Cuadrilla chose to release into our atmosphere.

The sad fact is that no one can prove this practice is safe, the for arguments are not built on practice in the UK.

Oh, and did you know, the latest US state to ban fracking because of health risks is New York and that was only two weeks ago?

Imagine what an earth tremor might do to our local nuclear fuel establishment.

David Nicholls


Mobility issues

I am a human too

So sorry Mrs Jackson that disabled people spoil your day.

I am in a wheelchair now and yes I do feel in the way in shops, but I do like to choose my husband’s Christmas card (all on my own albeit that I am disabled).

What a thoughtless selfish person you are!

Do you expect people who need to use mobility aids to stay imprisoned at home 
just because you don’t 
like it?

I hope that you don’t become disabled, but if you do, don’t get too fat when you eat humble pie.

Merry Christmas!

John Wright

Via Email

Religious festival

Merry retailmas

Black Friday, online Monday, the madness of trying to grab a last minute Christmas present and now the Boxing Day Sales.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Christmas has been totally hijacked by the gods of retail, money and big business to become the biggest heathen festival of self-indulgence of the year?

Betty Smith