Fracking vs Tourism

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

S Jones (‘Is process worth the risk?’, Have Your Say, 3 July) is right to be concerned about proposals to extract unconventional gas, not just from the Loughor Estuary but all across rural Swansea.

There seems little point in spending money on promoting tourism (‘Experts drafted in to help boost tourism’, page 2, 3 July) when there are plans afoot for major industrial development in our rural surroundings.

Mawr is not just “an apparent hotbed of interest among renewable energy companies”; it is also the centre of attention for exploration for Coal Bed Methane.  Further to the East there is potentially Shale Gas, extraction of which might involve the controversial process of Hydraulic Fracturing (“fracking”).

Test drilling for Coal Bed Methane has already taken place in several locations around Mawr, and another application has been granted in Penllergaer.

Commercial exploitation of Coal Bed Methane and Underground Coal Gasification will require multiple wellheads and processing plants across some of the most sensitive and attractive areas around Swansea.  When you add in all the infrastructure required to support the wells, plus the huge number of vehicle movements needed to bring materials in and take the gas and waste water away, you are talking about significant disruption in the very areas where we want to attract tourists.

Allowing the gas industry to have it’s wicked way with our countryside will certainly frack any chance of a sustainable tourist industry in North Gower, Pontarddulais and Mawr, with knock on effects across the region.

Yours,

Keith M Ross

CBMLandscapeProcessShaleLandscapeProcessUCG (1)

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