The “Extreme Energy” Autumn Tour of South Wales

The Government in Westminster is pressing ahead with support for a new set of “unconventional” fossil fuel technologies in an attempt to boost the UK economy. These technologies shale gas (also known as “fracking”), coalbed methane and underground coal gasification have a problematic safety record, and are known to risk serious environmental contamination as a result of their operation. Over a series of four public workshops around South Wales, Paul Mobbs an environmental consultant and researcher specialising in energy and ecological futures will present the technical details of these “extreme” energy technologies, what ecological risks they present, and the flaws in the reasoning behind the UK Government’s support for these technologies.

Tour Programme

Thursday 22nd November
Dinas Powys

7pm, The Lee Hall, Britway Road, Dinas Powys

Click for Streetmap of Lee Hall, Dinas Powys

“Extreme Energy: Shale Gas and Coalbed Methane”
This event looks at the technical details and impacts of shale gas and coalbed methane currently licensed for development in the Vale of Glamorgan and the South Wales Valleys. Shale gas and coalbed methane involve far more than drilling holes and water pollution which has been the focus of much public concern to date. The environmental pollution impacts cover both the air, soil and water, as well as generating large volumes of potentially toxic liquid and solid wastes. Perhaps more significant will be the development of gas extraction pads over a wide area, leading to widespread damage of the natural landscape and environment through the laying of miles of pipelines and the development of gas processing facilities. In this presentation we’ll look at the technical details of the processes involved, and how different parts of that gas extraction system have the potential to impact the environment and local amenity.
Friday 23rd November
Rhydlewis

7.30pm, Rhydlewis Village Hall, Rhydlewis, near Llandysul

Click for Streetmap of Village Hall, Rhydlewis

“Extreme Energy: Going Beyond Green”
Examining the Government’s enthusiasm for various forms of “extreme energy” development, and why their plans ignore the ecological realities of the world today . This event will examine all the unconventional energy resources now being considered in South Wales, and it will also look at the contribution from other technologies such as nuclear and renewable energy. The real problem is that we don’t have an “energy issue”, we have a “limits issue” recent research from a variety of scientific and policy agencies has shown that we are reaching the “limits to growth”, and therefore we need to consider far more radical approaches to making human society sustainable than are currently being presented either by Governments, or by many mainstream campaign groups.
Sunday 25th November
Ammanford

7.30pm, Miner’s Welfare Hall Wind Street, Ammanford

Click for Streetmap of Miner’s Hall, Ammanford

“Extreme Energy: Shale Gas and Coalbed Methane”
This event is similar to the previous event in Dinas Powys, although given the nature of the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences already issued in the Valleys area, it will centre more on coalbed methane and underground gasification.
Monday 26th November
Swansea

7.30pm, Swansea Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea

Click for Streetmap of Environment Centre, Swansea

“Extreme Energy: Underground Coal Gasification”
The ‘nuclear option’ of extreme energy sources, this highly controversial process is planned for two sites in South Wales Swansea Bay (the licence for which expires at the end of November, but which is likely to be reapplied for) and the Loughor Estuary near Llanelli (where a licence application is currently being considered by the Coal Authority). In this presentation UCG will be contrasted with other forms of unconventional energy, the performance and impacts of recent UCG trails around the world as well as its historical development will be examined, but most importantly UCG will be presented in the context of national energy policy demonstrating that there is little justification for the excess risks from this process given the small amounts of energy it is likely to produce.

Finally, for a taste of Paul Mobbs’ presentation, see the Youtube video “FRAKNET”, recorded during his session at the Manchester anti-fracking conference in March 2012.

Further information here: http://www.fraw.org.uk/2012tour/index.shtml

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