Letters: Shale gas can be Britain’s biggest boom since 1970s

Americans have benefited from shale gas
Americans have benefited from shale gas
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Energy Secretary Ed Davey has given the green light for drilling for shale gas, which the Government hopes will revolutionise Britain’s energy supply.

Shale gas has revolutionised the American economy and electricity prices have been halved leading to economic revival. Prices there are now a quarter of those paid in Europe. Shale gas has lowered America’s emissions.

Fracking will end our dependence on volatile nations and expensive imports thus protecting UK consumers and industry from rising prices.

The UK could be sitting on estimated gas reserves of up to 300 trillion cubic feet – enough to supply Britain for 120 years.

China has reserves of 886 trillion enough for two hundred years.

Critics claims that the visual aspect of gas-rigs will be worse than wind turbines are wrong. Drilling and fracking rigs would be on site for only a few months.

Once a well is completed the structures are dismantled and all that is left is the well head which could be fitted into a large garden shed.

Shale gas could become the greatest contribution to Britain’s energy supplies since the North Sea boom of the 1970s.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Good news but work still needed

The release of official figures showing a 4.3 per cent drop in youth unemployment is fantastic news, and confirmation that carefully focused interventions can succeed in assisting young people to find pathways into training and employment.

While Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance is absolutely right to welcome the best job figures in four years, she was also wise to do so with a note of cautious optimism.

That’s because demand for targeted support, particularly from the hardest to reach in our society, is still as high as ever and will remain so into the New Year. In particular, we welcome the Scottish Government’s Make Young People Your Business initiative, which we believe will help Scotland grow young talent and build capacity for the future.

In the past year, The Prince’s Trust Scotland has supported more than 6000 disadvantaged young people, offering programmes that have helped them to contribute their own talents to economic recovery.

Encouragingly, nearly 80 per cent of participants went on to positive destinations such as work, college or volunteering. For many of those young people, that’s no mean feat. Many will have started 2012 with barriers ranging from low motivation and self-esteem to the consequences of contact with the justice or care system.

We must approach 2013 with a stronger focus than ever on reaching and assisting the many thousands of young people facing another year on the economic fringes.

Heather Gray, director, The Prince’s Trust Scotland

Don’t forget Irish eyes are smiling

I WAS surprised that M Smythe (Letters, December 12) prefers British welfare cuts, which were described by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations as “criminal” with more to come, to those in Ireland where several benefits, such as child benefit, remain higher than in the UK.

In having a go at Ireland, Ms Smythe seems to forget that the most recent World Bank and IMF surveys of wealthiest nations puts Ireland and Iceland ahead of the UK.

And the United Nation’s latest survey of the “Happiest Nations” also puts Ireland ahead of Britain with Norway, Denmark and Finland the top three nations to live in.

These small independent nations are the social democratic model for Scotland so my advice to Ms Smythe is to vote ‘yes’ in 2014 and be happy.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Bright Sparks beat ticket blues

I READ that tickets for last month’s Rolling Stones concerts at the O2 in London ranged from £95 to £950.

I then read that Cliff Richard will be charging £45 and £90 for his forthcoming shows.

In October, in Edinburgh I and 1499 other fans attended a fabulous sell-out concert by a group who have also been around for many years.

I had the best view in the house, within touching distance of the stage, and I was witness to an amazing 90-minute show – all for the price of a £20 ticket. A big thank-you to a group who truly appreciate and respect their fans. Thank you Sparks!

Tony M Watt, High Street, Kirkliston, West Lothian