27 February 2011
At the close of its Spring Conference in Cardiff, The Green Party called today for a ban on the controversial and often risky gas extraction technique of hydraulic, commonly known as fracking. (1)
In an emergency motion (2) passed by the party's spring conference, the Greens are calling for more analysis of the effects of fracking before it is considered for development in the UK. This comes as news that Coastal Oil and Gas Limited has plans to exploit a reserve in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Jake Griffiths, leader of Wales Green Party and candidate for South Wales Central, said he was "very worried" about the possible disastrous consequences of fracking to people's health and the environment. He went on to say that it would be "entirely foolish" to allow this potentially dangerous form of extraction to be developed without further studies being carried out.
Mark Gabb, a Green Party activist in the Vale, pointed out that fracking has consequences beyond its impact on the local area:
"As well as the local impacts, including potential groundwater contamination, shale gas exploration is part of the ever more desperate hunt for fossil fuels as conventional supplies are set to fail to meet demand.
(1) The recently released film ‘Gasland' highlights the many negative effects of fracking in the USA.
(2) Text of the emergency motion:
'The oil and gas industry is seeking to exploit UKonshore gas reserves trapped in shale rock and coal beds requiringenvironmentally damaging and risky techniques, including hydraulicfracturing (fracking). This conference condemns the coalitiongovernment for refusing to impose a ban, demanded by environmentalgroups, on shale gas, and on the related coal bed methane extractionindustry, at least until the results of studies here and in the US havebeen considered.
This conference expresses concern at the historicfirst UK use of this technology at a site of an important groundwateraquifer and notes that over 80 further applications have been appliedfor around the UK.'
Conference instructs GPEX to publicise the issuesto enable the Green Party at every level to take a firm line to protectcommunities, drinking water and the environment.