PROTESTS BEGIN IN GAS FIGHT; THE FRACKING DEBATE: WILL IT USHER IN A NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION FOR SOUTH WALES? Discovery Described as 'Alarming'
Byline: Peter Law
CLAIMS shale gas could bring a potential economic boom last night served to strengthen the objections of those fighting to stop its exploitation in South Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan's Conservative MP Alun Cairns, who has backed residents campaigning against plans to drill in Llandow, described the findings as "alarming".
Meanwhile, Ogmore's Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies, the shadow energy minister, yesterday renewed his call for a temporary halt on shale gas operations in the UK.
The concerns centre on the safety of fracking, the process through which chemicals, sand and water are pumped underground to release the gas trapped in shale rock.
They also argue mass exploitation of shale gas reserves could harm the UK's transition to a low carbon economy by stopping investment in renewable energy technology.
Mr Cairns said: "This is alarming and the very reason why I want the application to explore rejected.
"These documents and reports highlight how the argument shifts in favour of the developers and against local communities if shale gas is discovered in and around Llandow.
"The response of the financial markets demonstrates how positive they see their prospects. As soon as it is proven that there is significant amounts of shale gas, the community are on the back foot. The time to reject the application is now.
"This is a small rural location with many special environmental features surrounding it. Gas drilling in this area would simply be wrong. Significantly more jobs and wealth could be created in and around the Western Vale through tourism and environmental projects."
Mark Gabb, from the Vale Says No campaign, added: "This will not provide energy security in the long term.
"My concern is the amount of time that they will be there and the damage they could have on not just Llandow, but across the whole of South Wales. …