22-02-14 -Correspondence with John Mann on Fracking – Part 2

After my initial response to John Mann (see Response to John Mann on Fracking), he has continued to send me emails on the subject which, with his permission, I reproduce here, along with my responses:

From: MANN, John [mailto:john.mann.mp@parliament.uk]
Sent: 19 February 2014 20:56
To: Leon Duveen
Subject: Re: Bassetlaw Against Fracking and other extreme gas extraction – Launch Public Meeting

Same old avoidance of answers.

It was a Liberal Minister who removed subsidy to renewables for householders It is a Liberal Minister advancing gas fracking For any constituent wanting actual information, I am able to provide it rather than Mr Duveens polemic You are able to install either ground source or air source heat pumps if you choose Bassetlaw Council has a good track record of installing both Indeed ground source heat is the best renewable available locally You could also support my private members bill, publicised in the Worksop a Guardian for planning rules to build in an advantage for green energy, which it does not currently You could also back my parliamentary resolution to retrofit every pensioner property with green energy

However you have to answer the question about today’s energy needs . You oppose everything but support nothing, so is it gas, coal or nuclear? And in what proportions ( ie which do we invest in) Or should we turn the lights off and if so which ones?

John Mann MP for Bassetlaw

From: Leon Duveen [mailto:leon.duveen@googlemail.com]
Sent: 20 February 2014 21:42
To: MANN, John
Subject: RE: Bassetlaw Against Fracking and other extreme gas extraction – Launch Public Meeting

Dear Mr Mann,

Still the same old silly questions, not listening to answers and incorrect facts.

My apologies for not responding earlier but I have a fulltime job which takes up most of my time and, as we are a small party locally, had to do all my own research

There was a Coalition decision to lower (not remove) the Feed-in Tariff as, simply put, the Exchequer though was not affordable for the country.  Lib Dems did not agree with this but it was a Coalition decision.  A similar situation exists over the promotion of extreme gas extraction, where the Lib Dems are not as enthusiastic as the Tories but  the Coalition means that the Tories seem to have won on this issue.  It was telling the announcements were from David Cameron rather than Ed Davey.

I have had the chance to do some quick research on Ground Source & Air Source Heat Pumps and they are not suitable for an older property with an existing efficient gas central heating system.  As I said ..earlier we are interested in pv panels but haven’t got round to doing this yet.

I certainly would support any bill that helps give an advantage to green energy.  It is something that should have been done years ago and all new buildings, commercial or residential,  should have features like solar or pv panels and ground heat source pumps built it to them.

As for retrofitting all pensioners houses with green energy, I am more dubious.  The intention is good but too many older house, like mine, are not suitable for putting panels on or install heat exchangers and there will be issues with those who live in flats & other shared accommodation .  Also, not all pensioners are so badly off that they cannot afford to do this themselves if they want.  I agree more needs to be done in this area but am not sure that a blanket rule you are proposing is the way forward although it does make a good headline.

You ask what we should do about the looming energy crisis.  This has been caused by over 20 years of reckless neglect successive governments, including by Labour, but the answer isn’t any of the three options you gave me for the following reasons .

Nuclear – even if Hinckley Point C goes ahead it will nearly 10 years before we get any electricity from it and one nuclear power station would not be enough.

Coal – Carbon capture and storage has yet to be shown as a viable technology and without it burning coal at a time when we are already seeing the effects of global warming would be unthinkable

Gas – By it’s nature it is a short term stop gap measure that could be used to plug the energy gap in the short term but, as it is still a hydrocarbon, using it contributes to global warming and we need to wean ourselves off of it

The real answer to our energy crisis is something we should have been doing for the last 30 years, investing in renewables to make wind, solar, geo-thermal, tidal, bio-mass &hydroelectricity energy sources more efficient & economical and also improve the storage capacity for spare energy.  We are late in doing this as, again successive governments have failed to invest in this, but longer term, over 50 years, the cost of making the investments in these renewable source is no greater than the cost of using hydrocarbons because as the price of  the ever diminishing  oil & gas resource will inevitable rise.  I am sure you are aware of the 2050 Calculator for modelling possible scenarios and this show that if we make the right investments now we really will have a cheap, clean, long term solution to the energy crisis.  It will also create jobs and industries here in the UK

No one wants the lights to go off but unless we take some hard decisions now, they will.  Fracking and other extreme gas extraction is not the answer as again it will be years before they come on stream even if, stupidly, we allow them to go ahead at the cost of destroying the local environments.  Even then they only delay the day when we have to turn to renewables.

Leon Duveen

From: MANN, John [mailto:john.mann.mp@parliament.uk]
Sent: 21 February 2014 07:58
To: Leon Duveen
Subject: RE: Bassetlaw Against Fracking and other extreme gas extraction – Launch Public Meeting

You are wrong about ground and air source. If you followed council matters, you would be aware of retro-fitting done in this area already.

You clearly do not know what carbon capture and storage is

So you use gas, but are against gas.

You use electricity but are against coal, gas and nuclear generation.

You do not have solar panels.

You do not have a wind turbine.

But you support Huhne, Liberal, when he reduceds feed in tariffs, introduced by Ed Miliband.

You support Davey who oversees fracking.

Not for the first time you have no idea what you are talking about.

I trust that you will put this exchange on your website.

John Mann

I will try to ignore Mr Mann’s attempt to twist my words but a couple of points need clarifying in words that even he might understand.

I am not “against gas”, it is just a short tem solution to a long term problem and we need a far better one.  What I am against is using extreme extraction methods with highly dubious safety record where they have been used to eke out a little bit more gas which will only put off the day when we have to face up that the only sensible & sustainable way forward is renewables.

I am not against electricity, just in favour of a cleaner, more sustainable way of generating it.

No I haven’t yet fitted any green energy solutions to my own house because of the way my house faces and because we have not had the spare money to invest in these solutions.

Mr Mann is also wrong on Ground Source Pumps, retro-fitting them to a 100 year old house with no cavity walls and a modern efficient gas fired boiler does not make sense. Don’t take my word for it, read this article from Which?

Yes I supported Hunhe and wish he had been able to keep Feed in Tariffs higher but they had been set at a too generous level by Ed Miliband (not his only mistake as Energy Secretary) and that gave The Exchequer the excuse to reduce them.  Even so, they are still at attractive level as can be seen by the number of solar & pv panel being put up on houses in and around Worksop.

Mr Mann not only gets his facts wrong but seems unable to do even basic research into the subject.  Don’t forget, this exchange of emails has been going on when he, along with other MPs, has not been in Parliament as it is in half-term recess while I have been working fulltime yet I have managed to find out far more than him on this issue.

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