The Party of Wales has accused Welsh Government Ministers representing areas affected by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of “silent complicity” with the gas-drilling firms looking to exploit shale gas and coal bed methane in Flintshire and Wrecsam. Licences for exploratory drilling for gas cover two-thirds of the Welsh population.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow energy spokesperson and North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said:
“Earlier this year, I called for a moratorium on fracking because of the dangers drilling for unconventional gas poses to Welsh communities, the environment and our water. I invited the First Minister to show a lead on this but he and his fellow ministers – many of whom represent constituencies that are being targeted by the fracking firms – have failed to come off the fence on this matter.
"Staying silent on such an issue is complicity with the fracking firms and shows a contempt for those communities directly affected by this new development.“The decision of the local planning authority against granting permission to test drill for coal bed methane was made after extensive discussion. That decision was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate. “If the Welsh Government won’t stand up for communities under threat from fracking, even in their own backyards, then Plaid Cymru – both locally and nationally – will continue to do our utmost to reject unconventional gas drilling in Wales.
"There is growing proof from the USA, where fracking originated, that wells leak, that water courses are being polluted by the toxic chemicals used and that these are causing health problems for both humans and animals. In Texas, the home of many of these drilling firms, towns are now voting to ban fracking due to the risks.
“It’s time for the Welsh Government to get off the fence on fracking before it’s too late”.
Local Plaid Cymru councillor Arfon Jones, who represents Gwersyllt West, has tabled a motion to Wrecsam Council calling to make the county a “frack-free area”.
• These Welsh Government ministers all represent constituencies where PEDL licences have been granted for unconventional gas exploration. The first three represent constituencies in Flintshire and Wrecsam: