THE facts are clear, natural gas is a carbon-based fossil fuel and burning it contributes to changing our climate.

The Government’s Committee on Climate Change has said that we need to phase out its use domestically within the next six years. The fracking process to release more of this gas requires the use of large volumes of precious water. The Environment Agency is now warning that due to the changing climate we will be facing water shortages in the next 25 years.

Why then is this Government still supporting the extraction of shale gas? An answer may be found in its shambolic dealing with the Brexit situation.

This Government does not lead but instead is led by the nose by powerful vested interests. In the case of Brexit, the DUP and the ERG (and the desperate hope of keeping the party together). In the case of the environment it is led by the interests of large profit hungry businesses.

The house building lobby are making huge profits and are credited with killing off the zero carbon, low energy homes initiative. The chemical giant Ineos, who are key proponents of fracking, are again making huge profits.

Our citizens deserve better, much better. And especially our children and grandchildren who will have to cope with the climate mess that we are now creating for them.

Glyn Wild, Swinton, Malton

Shale gas benefits

Results just in from shale targeting wells reveal that the shale gas below our feet in the UK is in far greater quantities than first thought.

Note: Shale gas is the same gas as conventional gas. The March 2019 report by UKOOG states that 100 pads in the whole of the UK of 40 laterals (below the surface, 4,000 laterals in total) would deliver the following benefits: by the mid 2030s the equivalent to the gas use of 35 million homes – more than the UK total; net gas imports being almost eliminated in the early 2030s, improving the balance of payments by around £8 billion a year; over 80 million tonnes of lifecycle CO2 savings by 2035, compared with imports of LNG.

If we don’t produce our own gas we have to import in increasing quantities, leaving our nation vulnerable to the whims of other nations. Last year we spent £7 billion importing gas.

Not only could a UK shale gas industry contribute to our country’s energy security but a single pad of 40 laterals would provide: £13.5 million of community benefits over a 25-year lifetime; £27 million of business rates over a 25-year lifetime. District councils keep 100 per cent of the business rates.

Sue Cuthbert excelled herself last week when she tried to blame an earthquake in China’s Sichuan province on fracking. The 4.9 magnitude quake struck 6.21 miles below the surface. That eliminates any drilling or hydraulic fracturing being to blame. As for the obsession to abandon plastics, perhaps it would help us all if some of the keyboard warriors abandoned their plastic keyboards and phones for a start.

Lorraine Allanson, Allerston

Chimney advice

Over recent months you have carried out several news reports of chimney fires in the Ryedale area, which have required the attendance of fire crews.

The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) is most concerned about the dangers of chimney fires, which can not only destroy properties, but can also cause fatalities.

All chimneys that are in use for solid fuel, ie wood burning and coal use, should be cleaned by a fully trained chimney sweep. All NACS members work strictly to the Industry Standard National Code of Practice, and provide services such as chimney surveys with CCTV, smoke testing and repairs.

When installed correctly to current building regulations and maintained, wood burning stoves provide safe and environmentally friendly heating. It is essential that fuel, wood logs etc are burnt dry. Wet and damp wood can produce tar and creosote deposits within the flue system which is highly inflammable and will cause chimney fires.

Competent and qualified chimney sweeps will be able to give house holders advice on fuel storage and the safe operation of their heating appliance. Details of local NACS members can be found at and

Martin Glynn, NACS president and CEO