Archive | August 2015

No place for fracking in Wales

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

Something seems to have gone awry with Lawrence Bailey’s usually excellent column this week.

His piece ‘Fast track to digging deeper’ (Evening Post, 25 August, page 10) appears to have been edited to the point where it’s difficult to understand just what his point is.

UK Methane Ltd has applied to Swansea Council for Planning Permission to test drill for Coal Bed Methane in Llangyfelach. As the company has made very clear, the proposed development does not involve the controversial process of Hydraulic Fracturing (or “fracking”).

The current moratorium in Wales applies to “unconventional extraction techniques, including hydraulic fracturing … but does not include the making of exploratory boreholes.”

So this application does not fall within the terms of the moratorium, nor is it a way of getting around the moratorium.

Quite how this could be seen as curtailing “Celebrations in Cardiff Bay” is difficult to see.

On 14 August Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant AM wrote to all local councils in Wales to assure them that measures to fast track fracking were applicable to English councils only and reiterated the Welsh Government’s preference for renewable forms of generation over oil and gas exploration.

The Minister said, “We continue to believe that the technologies behind hydraulic fracturing are unproven …” and, “Our vision for future energy generation is based on embracing Wales’ abundant renewable energy resources which provide exciting and immediate opportunities.”

He added, “Wales is a green and clever land and we want to ensure … that we address the issue of climate change immediately through the effective deployment of renewable energy technologies.”

Methinks it will be the frackers whose celebrations may yet be short-lived!

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