The Daily Telegraph

Truss v Nimbys


SIR – I read Liz Truss’s article (Comment, September 4) with interest.

She has radical ideas, but I fear she will struggle to put them into practice without radical changes to rules and regulation­s, especially with regard to planning procedures. Nimbys have acquired too much power.

If Ms Truss can make those changes, fracking must go ahead, and new nuclear power stations must be built. I wish her every success

Jack Marriott

Churt, Surrey

SIR – It is hard to believe that government officials could be advising a new prime minister that shale gas is the solution to the price crisis. For or against it, the industry cannot gain the pace and scale to make a material difference to bills anytime soon.

First, notwithsta­nding the moratorium, the industry requires between two and three years of drilling across a variety of geologies to deliver reserve estimates on which to base commercial production. Current statements about the amount of gas that could be produced are guesswork.

Secondly, the industry is modest – a handful of companies, some of which have already given up on shale. It would take time to gear up for a drilling campaign.

Thirdly, the regulatory and planning issues that plagued the industry’s progress remain, and would probably hamper any attempt to scale up drilling.

Fourthly, both of the candidates for PM have suggested that fracking would depend on support from communitie­s. There is no evidence that this would be forthcomin­g.

Finally, the nature of Britain’s liberalise­d gas market, exposed to volatile European and global LNG markets, means that a modest amount of domestic shale gas will not move the dial. At best, it might help to improve physical security of supply, but even that is wishful thinking.

To make a difference, the industry visualises hundreds of pads drilling multiple wells each year at sites across the North of England. It is hard to see how shale gas can contribute to solving the current price crisis, and therefore cutting energy bills.

Professor Michael Bradshaw Professor of Global Energy Warwick Business School

SIR – When are we going to see programmes giving advice on how to save money by using less energy?

We went through the process last year and reduced our consumptio­n hugely. LED lights were installed, we only filled the kettle with the water we needed to boil, we fully filled our washing machine and dishwasher, stopped using the tumble dryer, and reduced the number of hours our electric towel rail was on.

All easy stuff that saved us lots. Paul Caruana Truro, Cornwall

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