Northern Ireland needs to overcome ignorance on fracking
FRACKING suffers from two things – its unfortunate name and ignorance. The first we can do nothing about, but the second – as illustrated by Neil C Oliver's letter (Write Back, August 4) – hopefully we can.
The main problem are the chemicals used and the effect on the environment. The former strikes fear into most people if used in the wrong way – the word 'chemicals'. We use chemicals every day – in fact, I used "chemicals" in my mouth this morning (ie toothpaste).
The chemicals used in fracking, in conjunction with water and air, are really lubricants similar to washing-up liquid. Even if the chemicals were toxic, they would be at such a depth they would be of no danger.
The latter has some early problems – ie gas in drinking water. However, like all new processes, this has been resolved and the extraction of oil/gas would pose no danger.
You need only look to the USA – a country renowned for its protection of the environment – and there are over one million fracking wells.
By 2017 the USA will be exporting oil and gas. The cost of energy has gone down by 50% and they will not rely on oil or gas from the Middle East or Russia.
Northern Ireland is at the farthest end of a very long pipeline from Russia, with Mr Putin on the tap. If the lights go out then we will be wishing we had our own gas/oil.
Portrush, Co Antrim