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‘Fracking’: how Christians should see it

by
30 August 2013

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From Mr James Granger

Sir, - It is alarming to see the chairman of the Mission and Public Affairs Council keeping the door open for fracking on church land on the basis that it might help tackle fuel poverty (News, 23 August).

In fact, there is a broad consensus among most energy analysts, from OFGEM to the International Energy Agency and the Energy Secretary, that the impact of fracking on UK energy bills would, in the words of the fracking company Cuadrilla, be "basically insignificant".

Anti-fracking protests in Balcombe have been supported by Fuel Poverty Action, the Greater London Pensioners' Association, and Disabled People Against the Cuts. Members of these groups (many of whom are on the front line of fuel poverty) know that fracking is a distraction from the real solution of energy efficiency and renewable energy, which the Government's own research shows would save on fuel bills, while also tackling climate change.

Fracking may possibly line the pockets of wealthy energy tycoons, but there is no evidence to think it will be of any help to the millions of us choosing between heating and eating in the winter. Whose side is the Church of England really taking?

JAMES GRANGER
Campaigner
Fuel Poverty Action
The Grayston Centre
28 Charles Square
London N1 6HT

 

From A. Wills

Sir, - I agree with those C of E bishops who have expressed concerns about fracking. There is evidence to suggest it can increase the risk of earth tremors. It uses vast quantities of precious water, and it uses many toxic chemicals which can pollute ground water, and hence people's drinking water. Benzene-related chemicals are proven to cause cancer and blood diseases.

David Cameron uses phrases about fracking such as "if properly regulated". But drilling companies cannot guarantee that their concrete casings will not fracture and leak toxins into the water table. The fracking companies accept this themselves, and the expected failure rate is about 20 per cent.

As Christians, we are told to take care of the world that God created; we are also told to love and care for each other. We would be failing to do this if we approved something that could cause people to suffer serious illness. Governments need to investigate safe renewable forms of energy, including tidal and hydro-electric power.

A. WILLS
67 Dulverton Road
London HA4 9AF

 

From the Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council

Sir, - Mr Simon Court's comments on fracking ( Letters, 23 August) allude to lobbying and conspiracy lurking behind the statement of Philip Fletcher, chair of the Council for Mission and Public Affairs.

The truth is more mundane. Mr Fletcher retired from his former position as chair of OFWAT last year. The statement issued in his name did not come from Lambeth Palace, as Mr Court suggests, but was issued from this office as a normal part of our work in supporting chairs of the Councils of the General Synod.

ARUN ARORA
Archbishops' Council
Church House
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3AZ

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