Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM has welcomed news that licences to drill for unconventional gas in parts of Wrexham have run out of time, saying it’s time to look at alternatives to fracking.
Llyr Gruffydd, a consistent opponent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on the grounds of safety, said: “Attempts by multinational companies such as iGas to start drilling for shale gas have been met with opposition on both sides of the England-Wales border. It’s now clear that the company has decided not to pursue its plan to test drill in the Borras area, which is very welcome news for local residents.
“However, there are still licences to drill in parts of Flintshire and Cheshire and we must remain vigilant. These companies may yet return to Wrexham and any activities in neighbouring areas could also impact on the water table. Fracking and unconventional drilling has been banned in many countries and has been linked with pollution of water sources, health problems and environmental pollution. Over the past two years I have pushed the Welsh Government into a position where it would call in any new planning proposal and I want to make sure that Wales is frack-free.”
Mr Gruffydd, who has visited the Borras camp set up to defend the community from fracking, said: “We have to move away from fossil fuels and develop alternative energy sources – something we’re lucky to have in abundance here in Wales. We have well-established hydro and offshore windpower, emerging solar energy and huge potential for tidal power that could provide green, clean energy for the next century. The stance taken against fracking should be seen in the context of global warming and climate change as well as the threat to local communities, people’s health and clean water.”
Daz Picken, a Borras resident and supporter of the community camp, added: “This is great news for Borras, which was the nearest community to the planned drill site. Many local people were involved in Frack-Free Wrexham and supported the camp. We can’t be complacent that iGas and other companies will just give up and we’ll continue to support campaigners in neighbouring counties but we’re determined to make sure Wrexham is kept frack free.”