The news from Lancashire (Fracking firm Cuadrilla finishes drilling UK’s first horizontal well, 4 April) came as a disappointment, particularly in the wake of the Observer business leader that suggested fracking companies were running into difficulties in the UK (Fracking industry blows hot and cold amid fuel shortages and false starts, 11 March).
Perhaps the easiest method of thwarting them would be for millions of energy customers to switch their accounts away from the big six and other suppliers of shale gas, and towards the smaller, often local energy companies who only supply gas from renewable sources and unfracked gas.
There are a number of such companies in the Bristol area, for example, and they are easily identifiable on their websites as they tend to trumpet their green credentials, whereas the firms trafficking shale gas do not mention the source of their gas. The green companies also tend to be cheaper for the consumer.
Given the drilling companies’ current problems with governmental checks on their finances, local authorities blocking them and local mass protests, the prospect of a significant desertion of account holders might be the final straw in deterring them from pursuing drilling in the UK.
• Cuadrilla reports “signs” of a “sizeable quantity of shale gas” in Lancashire and claims its tests indicate that each of the four wells for which it has planning permission could “extract enough gas to power 5,000 homes for 30 years”. Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan further claims the drilling is “a major milestone towards getting Lancashire gas flowing into Lancashire homes”. Given that there are over 650,000 homes in the county, that means the four wells together might provide about a year’s worth of gas for each one – not much of a return for a sizeable intrusion of the Lancashire environment.
• Your article on the Swansea energy scheme (Tidal lagoon jobs at risk after delay to funding agreement, 3 April) quoted business secretary Greg Clark’s January letter to the Welsh first minister, describing tidal lagoons as “an untried technology with high capital costs and significant uncertainties”. The world’s first tidal power station was in France, opened in 1966, paid for itself in 20 years, and is still producing enough to power 130,000 houses. Mr Clark seems to be stranded on the mud of ignorance.
• Join the debate – email email@example.com
• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters