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Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group

What Lessons We Can Learn About Fracking?

29th January 2016



A fracking installation in the U.S.A.

A fracking installation in the U.S.A.


What Lessons We Can Learn About Fracking?

          The members and friends of Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group started 2016 by watching the film 'Gasland'. This dealt with hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, which is a drilling technique used for extracting oil or natural gas from deep underground. It showed the impact this process had had in the USA.

          Although there are differences with the UK many problems are common. In the USA the landowners own the mineral rights underneath their property. This has led to landowners receiving large payments from the oil and gas companies. In this country landowners have no rights over mineral reserves under their land so only receive payment for access to land.

          During the initial drilling process and throughout its lifetime large quantities of water are required. This has various chemicals added to aid the drilling and extraction process. In America they have been found to include many highly toxic ones and companies have been reluctant give details. In the UK the operators must show to the Environment Agency that they are non-hazardous. Approximately half the water used is returned to the surface, held in storage tanks and transported away for treatment.

          In the areas of drilling in the USA many farms have their own wells which have been used for domestic purposes over decades. Gasland showed the many cases of water being contaminated by gas and water being set on fire. There are also many cases of chemicals in the water supply leading to various cases of ill health. In the UK most properties are connected to mains water and therefore would not suffer the same problem. However many farmers drill wells for their livestock and are concerned.

          In December 2015 the Government handed out 159 licences for onshore oil and gas exploration. In Wales there will be no new licences issued until the introduction of the new Wales Bill. Currently the Welsh Government has introduced a 'moratorium' on fracking after a vote in February 2015 by Assembly Members.

          A thoughtful debate followed the showing of the film. In America fracking was able to proceed because George W Bush removed many of the Environmental Protection laws particularly in regard to water. The USA is a large country and distance from ports meant fracked oil and gas could only by available to the internal market hence the rapid reduction in price. Here in the UK we are a much more densely populated country and many people will be affected by drill 'pads' close to them and the promised reduction in prices will not be seen as we will be trading gas through the inter-connectors to Europe as we currently do at market price.

          The current low costs of oil and gas will impact on any investment in the short term.

          Janet Roberts brought the meeting to a close with the thought that at the recent UN Climate Change Talks in Paris all the world leaders had made fine speeches about the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. They had then gone back to their countries with the aim of fulfilling their promises. However President Barack Obama had had to accept a Bill which enables America to export oil and gas for the first time, and in Australia the go ahead for the expansion of Abbott Point coal terminal port has been given. This is accessed through the Great Barrier Reef and gives access to vast coal reserves.

          In the words of David Attenborough: 'I look at my grand-children and think "What are they going to have to deal with?". Of course I do. How can you not'.

J.R.


Past Articles
DateTitle
27th November 2015Resilient Communities in an Emergency: A talk by Pauline Louchart, Emergency Planning Officer, PCC
25th September 2015Cyd Cymru (Wales Together) collective energy switching scheme: A talk prepared by Lisa Davies, PCC
24th July 2015Skomer Marine Reserve - and much more: An illustrated talk by Blaise Bullimore
26th June 2015A visit to Stackpole Walled Garden: with Ian Wilshaw, Treasurer, Mencap Pembs, and Mike Evans, SDF Project Manager
29th May 2015Protecting Pembrokeshire's Coastline: A talk by Emyr Williams, PCC Coast Protection Engineer
10th April 2015Your Parliamentary Candidates' Answers to the PSEEG Questionnaire
3rd April 2015A visit to the RWE Pembroke Power Station, arranged by Marten Lewis from the Darwin Centre
27th March 2015Present and Future Flood Risks Explained: A talk by Richard Wicks & Phill Pickersgill from NRW
23rd January 2015Our Home Planet: The showing of the film 'Home' by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
28th November 2014Marine Energy in Pembrokeshire: A talk by Louise Rigby, co-ordinator for Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP)
24th October 2014Extreme Weather Events: A talk on changing weather patterns by Janet Roberts, secretary of PSEEG
26th September 2014Renew Wales - Supporting Groups Across Wales: A talk on the work of this important organisation
25th July 2014How Green is our Wales?: A talk by Rhodri Asby, Deputy Director for Climate Change and Natural Resource Policy
27th June 2014Ty Solar at Rhosygilwen: A visit by members and friends of PSEEG
23rd May 2014Global Warming & Climate Change: A talk by Janet Roberts, secretary, PSEEG
28th March 2014The Swansea Bay Tidal Energy Lagoon: A talk by Owain Morris, Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc
24th January 2014P.C.N.P. supports Sustainable Development: A talk by Emma Taylor, SDF Administrator
29th November 2013To Frack or Not to Frack: A talk by John Childs from Safe Energy Wales
11th October 2013Quiet Revolution at Pembroke Dock: A visit with Marten Lewis to the Quiet Revolution factory
27th September 2013Keeping the lights and heating on: A talk by Graham Goodeve
28th June 2013Pembroke 21C Community Association: A talk by Elizabeth Gossage, Pembroke 21C Development Officer
24th May 2013Life beneath the waves; the beauties and the beasts: A talk by Blaise Bullimore, European Marine Site Officer
29th March 2013The National Trust in Wales - Energy Neutral by 2015: A talk by Paul Southall, NT Environment Advisor
1st March 2013Climate Change and a Sustainable Future: A talk by Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales
25th January 2013Waste Not Want Not: A talk by Hywel Gibbs, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Awareness Officer
30th November 2012Array of Hope: A talk by Paul Carter & Kim Daye from RWE Renewables on The Atlantic Array
26th October 2012The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy
28th September 2012A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project
14th September 2012Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre
29th June 2012The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth
1st June 2012Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader
11th May 2012The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen
23rd March 2012Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer
24th February 2012The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager
2nd December 2011Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme
4th November 2011The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.
30th September 2011How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project
23rd September 2011PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre
5th August 2011The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills
24th June 2011The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre
27th May 2011Electric Cars The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
13th May 2011Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
22nd April 2011Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock
1st April 2011A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock
25th February 2011Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency
14th January 2011The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy
12th November 2010How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming
15th October 2010Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline
10th August 2010The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels
18th June 2010Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth
16th April 2010Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People
12th March 2010Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife
12th February 2010Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot
15th January 2010Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy
4th December 2009Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
13th November 2009Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example
16th October 2009Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines
2nd October 2009A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind
11th September 2009Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire
10th July 2009A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
12th June 2009St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
24th April 2009Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
13th March 2009Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun
13th February 2009Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?
14th November 2008Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG
17th October 2008PSEEG to become a Registered Charity


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