MICHAEL Langdon's letter in Saturday's Bolton News, "Focus on the facts about fracking", is typical of the misinformation and scare-mongering tactics put about by the anti-fracking fraternity.

He quotes subsidence due to coal mining as an argument against fracking, but there is not a shred of evidence that fracking (the extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing), will result in subsidence. Fracking is carried out much deeper than coal mining, and only gas is extracted, not solid material, so subsidence is not a problem. The injection of water during the fracturing process can result in small seismic disturbances (minor earthquakes) but these are generally too small to be felt at the surface and are extremely unlikely to result in any damage to property. In fact the technique of injecting water along fault lines is being investigated as a method to reduce stress in rocks to prevent the occurrence of major earthquakes.

Water contamination due to fracking operations is a recognised potential problem, but this can be closely monitored, (see recent BGS groundwater study), and preventative measures put in place before it becomes serious. Mr Langdon claims that Whitehall mandarins just stick pins in a map to decide where fracking should take place. I am glad to say it is a bit more complicated than that. The British Geological Survey (BGS) has recently carried out extensive studies to determine the main areas in Britain where shale gas and oil deposits are most likely to be found, which are in the Midland Valley of Scotland, Bowland shale in Northern and Central England and the Weald Basin in the SE (mainly oil).

His letter then goes on to propose reopening coal mines and building new nuclear plants — fusion reactors, plus the use of Osmotic power generation. How can someone purporting to be a supporter of green energy suggest the reopening of coal mines? Also scientist have been trying unsuccessfully to develop fusion power for over 50 years, and osmotic power depends on the development of new technologies, plus there are major environmental concerns. Both these methods are still many years away.

The most favourable means of green energy generation in Britain is Tidal Energy, but this requires massive financial investment, which the government has so far failed to support. I would suggest that the anti-fracker's turn their attention to lobbying the government to invest in Tidal energy schemes.

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