I have read a number of letters on this topic in your paper most of which seem based on misrepresentation of the facts or biased opinions.
The concerns over fracking in Sussex based on potential road congestion/ traffic, and water availability are legitimate, understandable and need to be addressed: These issues with proper planning can be solved.
The concerns over earthquakes and ground water pollution are at best exaggerated. Provided the well casings when drilling are done to the proper standards and monitored the latter should not happen– assuming this was the real problem, and so called earthquakes a non-factor.
The arguments over decarbonising the economy and not wanting us to exploit this opportunity are wrong. We need a balanced energy portfolio including renewables and a proper portfolio would include them plus nuclear and gas. To want to decarbonise the economy completely is nonsense because then you banish heavy industry, refining and the chemical and petrochemical industries for example from the UK. These industries provide good and well paid jobs. These jobs then create other jobs in a trickle down effect.
Furthermore these are not finance, banking and service industry jobs that we have an over reliance on already. Sure you might end up with a decarbonised energy sector – but then you just de-jobbed more sectors of the economy and lost the taxes and contributions to society from those sectors. All those industries and jobs will go abroad and probably in many cases to China where they are far less fussy about their carbon footprint. So you get no taxes, more unemployment and also more people wanting to move to your neighbourhood in Sussex. Why? Because they lost their jobs in industry and now are coming to look for work in the South East because the jobs were lost elsewhere in the UK and there might be jobs here.
Fracking presents us with the opportunity to reduce our dependency on imported gas from the CIS or Middle East (hardly a secure source of gas). The advent of fracking in the USA has underpinned a massive recovery in jobs and investment with the repatriation of industries and all that brings in terms of jobs, taxes and a renewed future. It certainly has led to a renaissance of heavy industry there, plus a lower carbon footprint. By exploiting shale gas in the North West and then in other regions of the UK we will have some new opportunities in terms of jobs, energy security and cheaper power and energy. We might even have chance to renew some of our base industries and make them competitive rather than tax them to death with carbon taxes and credits. We would be stupid to throw this opportunity away.
Codmore Hill, Pulborough