Fracking hell! The stakes may have been raised – but the issues are exactly the same

Excellent coverage in the South Wales Echo today, with Fracking taking up pages 1-5. Good balance to the coverage with Comment by me on page 5 (see earlier posting).Not such good balance to the coverage in the Western Mail today (front page + pgs 6&7), and online. This represents a propaganda coup for the principal South Wales frackers, Eden Energy and the Bridgend based Coastal Oil & Gas:

They promise hundreds of jobs and enough energy to power the whole country for 4 years. Sounds attractive until you realise what that really means.

In terms of jobs, the only way they make such an assertion is on the basis of hundreds of fracking wells. Each well only needs a handful of relatively low grade workers once in operation, with wells being operable for at most 20 years. All the other jobs will be temporary contractors drilling the initial wells, with teams of frackers going around performing their dirty deeds periodically at each site. The GASLAND scenario becomes our reality across the the whole region.

As for the energy claims, they are highly speculative, but just about plausible. 4 years worth of energy (spread over about 20 years), making billions for a few companies (foreign ones will cream off the major share – such as Eden from Australia) but at what cost?

  • A toxic legacy that will be here for generations hence to deal with.
  • A whole spectrum of health and environmental hazardous impacts.
  • Property values decimated.
  • The practical impossibility of meeting our low-carbon future targets.
  • Another rush headlong to the precipice of climate change catastrophes.
  • The postponement of investment in the long term energy security and long term jobs in renewable energies.
  • A short term boost to the exchequer that will further delay the reforms to our economy and banking systems that involve inevitable boom and bust cycles.

The only ones who can support these frackers are those that stand to profit or complete dummies. Profits or people? The classic dilemma. We will get what we vote for. And we all know which side of the dilemma Tory governments (not all Tories, to be fair to Alun Cairns) always end up on. The only way to overcome this is mass public protest. This seems the only way forward.

As for the dummies out there, try this little visual game, courtesy of our French anti-fracking comrades:

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