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Fracking itself is not the problem

06 September 2013


From Barbara Echlin
Sir, - I am relieved to read that the statement from Mr Fletcher on fracking is not an official statement from the Church of England (Letters, 30 August). Nevertheless, it was widely reported as such in the general news media. A good way for members of the Archbishops' Council to respond would be for them to endorse the statement from the joint public-issues team of the Baptist, Methodist, and URC Churches (News, 30 August).

It does appear that there is a risk from fracking of small earth-tremors, chemical contamination of water supplies, and the leakage of gas into the atmosphere. The risk of all of these can, of course, be reduced with proper regulation.

In fracking's connections with climate change, however, the risks are much clearer. The emissions of a well set-up fracking rig are about the same as imported gas, and about half as much as coal. Gas fracked in the UK will be burnt in addition to the imported gas or coal we did not buy, thus adding to climate change. We have five times more fossil-fuel reserves than we need to wreck the climate; so any attempts to bring more fossil fuels to the surface seem to me to be suicidal madness.

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