Why the shilly-shallying over shale?

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It’s depressing that both Holyrood and Westminster seem likely to inhibit the 
development of shale gas in the UK in their concern for global warming (your report, 26 January).

Meanwhile, they encourage, through misplaced public subsidies, the consumption of biomass from the Southern US and coal from Colombia and Russia at Drax power station in Yorkshire, with all the immediate 
carbon emissions associated with the maritime transport of these fuels as well as their relatively inefficient conversion into electricity.

No new technology is needed to replace Drax, if using higher efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine generation of electricity powered by cheap indigenous shale gas using robust and safe technology proven in the US over decades.

This substitution alone would reduce carbon emissions.

Our Scottish contribution should be the provision of some shale gas and the use of Cockenzie Power Station site for new shale gas-fuelled generation.

By contrast, more windmills are just whistling in the wind.

Keith Burns

East Linton

East Lothian

The humbug of politicians sometimes takes your breath away. Despite agreeing to some of our most beautiful areas being covered in the concrete and steel of wind farms they are now in favour of a moratorium on fracking in case it turns “beauty spots into oil and gas fields”.

Why don’t they just stick the new fracking machines between the wind turbines as they won’t be seen by anybody and in any case these beauty spots have already been destroyed?

Where were the Labour and SNP politicians who should have been calling for a moratorium on wind farms when it might have saved our wild lands? Perhaps I am being too cynical in thinking that there might be some votes to be won by playing the anti-fracking card in front of the next election.

Alan Black

Camus Avenue

Edinburgh

The cross-party environmental audit committee (EAC) warns about the dangers of fracking.

The committee’s chairwoman, Labour MP Joan Walley, said fracking could not be compatible with long-term commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps she should get out more and lead less of a cloistered existence. America has done fracking for years and their economy is now strong.

One further point, Ms Walley: America is the only country in the world to have reduced its emissions entirely due to shale gas replacing coal. The UK is only responsible for 1.5 per cent of global emissions but is the only country in the world with crippling, legally binding targets.

She did get one thing correct, however, when she said carbon capture and storage was something that looked highly unlikely.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow