Archive | April 2014

Fracking Subsidies!

Byron Davies AM calls for an end to public subsidies for onshore wind farms and uses Welsh Government support for wind farms as a stick with which to beat the Labour Government in Cardiff. (‘Byron Davies AM calls for change over turbines’, South Wales Evening Post, 26 April)

His claim that “Conservatives in government want to protect the natural environment and are committed to giving local people a say …” might hold good for wind farms, but goes straight out of the window when it comes to Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane development.

Not only are Mr Davies’ Conservative colleagues at Westminster gleefully offering tax breaks and other incentives to Shale Gas developers, they are now planning to change the law so that companies can frack below our houses without needing to get our permission or even inform us.

Perhaps Mr Davies can explain how cutting subsidies for renewables at the same time as offering subsidies for fracking is going to help Welsh Conservatives honour their 2011 Manifesto Commitments to, “Tackle Climate Change”, “Generate More Renewable Energy” and “Protect the Environment”?

Fracking will do far more damage to the communities and environment of South Wales than any wind farm ever could.

Wind Farm (colour)fracking shale gas analysisVS







Sun, sea and wind are there to be used

Like Dave Lees (‘Gas is there to be used’, South Wales Evening Post, 7 April) I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see yet another climate change sceptic accusing greens of scaremongering when there is worldwide scientific consensus that we need to do something about global warming and we need to do it urgently.

I would indeed “have us believe this great industrial and scientific nation is incapable of exploiting any of it (the gas) safely”. I base this assessment on experience within those other great nations, the USA and Australia, where there is now overwhelming evidence, some of it from government sources, of the risks involved with shale gas, “fracking” and the like.

Solar PanelsDomestic Wind TurbineMr Lees’ implication that simply because there is so much gas beneath our feet we should use it applies equally to the sun, the wind and the waves all around us. Only in the case of renewables there will be significantly less pollution, significantly less industrialisation of our countryside, and significantly less chance of things going wrong. And we have the added benefit that the fuel is essentially free and available to all – individuals and communities as well as big business.

It’s not dithering about nuclear power that has brought us to this sorry pass where there is a real risk of energy shortages in the coming years. It is the failure of successive governments to keep their promises on carbon reduction and investment in renewables. Fortunately it is much quicker and easier to bring renewables online than it is to plan for new nuclear or new gas.

Investment in renewables will save us from sitting in the cold and dark on winter nights, not the grand schemes of multi-national corporations whose real interest is harvesting public subsidies to increase their already obscene profits.

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