Shale Gas Extraction in South Wales

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

Councillor Alun Llewelyn (Have Your Say, Thursday 16 June) appears at odds with his Plaid Cymru colleagues in Bridgend. Whilst he is supportive of shale gas extraction and the supposed economic benefits it might bring, they are joining with local people in opposing this highly controversial development.

In suggesting that the risks still need to be “properly quantified” Councillor Llewelyn glosses over the wealth of evidence available from the USA and elsewhere that shale gas extraction and the accompanying process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) pose a significant threat to local populations. Evidence that has caused the US House of Representatives to ask the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to instigate an urgent review because of increasing concerns about the impacts on drinking water, public health, and the environment; and has already led to the process being banned in France and New York State.

If proposals for shale gas extraction across the South Wales coalfields go ahead, we could see anywhere between 2,500 and 10,000 wellheads being established in the area. Figures that dwarf the numbers of proposed wind turbines, even in the worst nightmares of the windy-nimbys.

Councillor Llewelyn is right to make comparisons between coal and shale gas. Shale gas extraction will provide dirty, dangerous jobs; cause untold damage to the land and environment; and almost all the benefits will be felt outside of Wales as both gas and profits are exported.
Extraction of shale gas will only serve to prolong our dependency on carbon emitting fossil fuels.

Our efforts would be better employed in developing new, safe, green and sustainable industries in renewable energy, micro generation and energy conservation that have the potential to create thousands of jobs across Wales.


Keith M Ross
Swansea Green Party


One response to this post.

  1. Edited version appeared in today’s South Wales Evening Post.


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