Letter: Fracking - Short sighted energy policy

A fracking rig
A fracking rig
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The much-hyped speech last week by the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd (‘Energy policy shift will phase out coal but put climate fight on backburner’ November 18) was a spectacular display of Governmental cognitive dissonance, saying one thing while acting in an entirely contradictory manner.

In what can only be called spin, Amber Rudd offered warm words about ‘a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century’ yet her department ploughs ahead with firing up of outdated high-carbon gas power stations set to burn climate changing fossil fuels for decades to come.

Shutting down coal power stations is a good move, and campaigners should be applauded for their long running focus on this important goal, but doing so while promising a wave of new gas power stations simply doesn’t go close to ensuring we meet the energy challenges we face.

If we are rightly concerned about importing expensive Russian gas then obviously the only way to achieve fuel for these gas stations would be to frack the last drop of gas from our poor little island. This is not a goal we should consider.

Rudd spoke of competitiveness being at the heart of our energy system, yet her Government has committed to subsidising outrageously expensive nuclear power stations while slashing support for solar and wind, which are popular, cheaper and faster to deploy and dismantle.

It is not only wind power or solar but also wave, ground source and hydro, plentiful from SSE; water being in abundance in North Yorkshire also.

In these crucial weeks ahead of the Paris climate talks the Government is compounding the failure of its short-sighted energy strategy. Never has a greater chance for rethinking the way we power our communities been presented to us; yet Rudd and her colleagues look set to squander this unique opportunity by hiding behind hot air and spin while failing to take the urgent action needed to tackle climate change.

Elizabeth Barclay

HADAAF (Harrogate and District Alliance Against Fracking)

Ripon