Letters to the Editor

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Dismissing the myths

It should be necessary for any politician to ascertain the established facts before talking publicly. I refer specifically to Councillor Beattie’s comments on fracking in the Advertiser (December 31). The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently constituted a group of experienced engineers and expert scientists to report on fracking and their 60-page analysis and assessment is available on the DECC web site. It dismisses the myths that Councillor Beattie seems inclined to believe.

I recommend him to stop reading pamphlets put out by various unqualified and ideologically motivated green groups, whose policies if they ever came to fruition would happily destroy all vestiges of sensible production of heat from gas and electricity. The DECC report (and indeed both governments) have indicated that our present environmental regulations are considered sufficient to deal with any issue that could arise if proposals for Midlothian ever came to fruition. Scotland and the whole UK need cheap, reliable heating and the cheaper the better.

Fracking currently represents the best possibility for cheap natural gas for heating. Since it would be ours, it would displace gas from less stable parts of the world that currently we have to buy in and thus becomes more reliable. Amongst Councillor Beattie’s constituents will be many who have to decide between heating or eating, many others in fuel poverty and who consequently suffer extended illness and often accelerated death from living in cold houses.

None of these should ever have to be in that situation and if natural gas was cheap enough, none would. Councillor Beattie should consider his prime duty their wellbeing and life expectancy before pronouncing on other subjects for which he has no qualifications.

Professor Tony Trewavas FRS FRSE

Croft Street, Penicuik

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