Community leaders from TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru / Together Creating Communities) recently met with North Wales Assembly Member Llyr Gruffydd, and were delighted when he agreed to publicly support a fracking ban in Wales.
Fracking is a way of extracting gas from rocks far below the surface of the earth. A mixture of water, sand & chemicals is injected at very high pressure down a borehole. This fractures the rock, allowing shale gas to flow out which is collected on the surface.
TCC leader Di Gill said that, “We need a full ban in Wales as fracking will only create more climate-changing gasses. The shift to renewable energy must happen now – if we extract more fossil fuels we won’t have any chance of meeting our targets on climate change.”
“Local communities in Wales have repeatedly said that they don’t want fracking, we hope that Assembly Members will take action and support a full fracking ban.”
As well as the impacts on the environment, fracking has been shown to potentially contaminate local drinking water supplies, and pose significant public health risks. Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost. This water contains potentially carcinogenic chemicals which can escape and contaminate groundwater around the site.
In 2015 TCC met with several Assembly Members, and along with other organisations were successful in calling for a moratorium on fracking in Wales. This temporary ban using planning powers means that no fracking has yet happened. In October the Welsh Assembly will receive powers specifically over fracking, so TCC is urging Assembly Members to use this power to bring in a full ban.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales said, “Plaid Cymru’s been clear in its stance against fracking from day one. We don’t believe pumping chemicals underground and causing mini-earthquakes to release gas is the way forward in terms of meeting our energy needs or safeguarding our communities. Where fracking companies have attempted to test drill, for example in Borras near Wrexham, those communities have resisted and seen them off.”
“I’m pleased to support the campaign against fracking as part of a wider energy policy that would see Wales promote renewable energy sources such as tidal lagoons, solar and wind.”
(Picture Llyr Gruffydd AM (centre) with TCC leaders Di Gill (left) and Fr Charles Ramsey (right) )