To frack, or not to frack? Today we report that licences to explore land in Allerton Bywater, Kippax, Castleford have been awarded to companies to look for oil and gas - as the government looks to push forward with the shale industry in the UK. Inevitably people in the communities involved are worried.
The reality and the myth of what fracking actually means - the impact on communities, industry, and the environment - have become blurred after months of vociferous - and increasingly toxic - argument by lobby organisations on both sides. Little wonder that many people’s instinctive reaction is one of dread, fear and mistrust. With the cost of energy soaring, more than one in 10 families in Yorkshire living in fuel poverty, and most of the gas we use now coming from outside this country, in an uncertain world, don’t we need to start thinking about our own energy resources? There may be no other alternative to fracking if we want to be confident of keeping the lights on in the future.
But applicants need to work with local communities and must earn their trust, rather than allow a stand-off to develop such as those evident in Lancashire and Ryedale. Until they do, confidence in this mode of energy extraction will remain sorely lacking. The public requires openness, honesty and frankness. They don’t just require it, they deserve it.
Morrisons heads back to the future
Morrisons has announced the closure of 11 supermarkets at a time when shoppers want greater convenience because of changing lifestyle patterns. Yet the greater necessity remains the need to restore the reputation, and financial fortunes, of this Yorkshire institution. Morrisons has no alternative other than to focus on core shops – the bread and butter of its business. We can only hope the values of its illustrious past hold the key to a successful future.