Seminar on FRACKING in Cardiff on 19th June – join me!!

I have just booked myself in to this UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) event: am looking forward to crossing swords with the second and third speakers in particular!!

Andy Chyba
Join me if you can – even if it is to demonstrate outside:


Wednesday 19th June 2013

Registration from 4.30pm with speakers at 5pm


Hugh James Solicitors

Hodge House
114 – 116 St. Mary Street
CF10 1DY

With supporters of shale gas extraction claiming that there is enough shale gas lying under South Wales to provide an energy supply for the whole of Britain for the next 16 years, the controversial fracking debate has hotted up. As it becomes more relevant for those involved in the technical, feasibility and economic considerations as well as legal practitioners, don’t miss this opportunity to hear our expert speakers update you on developments in Wales and find out the impact on your business.


5pm: James Taylor; Simmons and Simmons

5.45pm: Rob Jeffries; Environ

6.30pm Prof Alan Riley; City University

Chair: Haydn Davies, City University

  • James Taylor, Simmons and Simmons will cover the specific legal issues thrown up by fracking and the challenges that might be presented to legal professionals
  • Rob Jefferies, Environ will cover the technical aspects and limitations of hydraulic fracturing (particularly as it pertains to Wales) as well as exploring the myths and truths about the impacts on the environment
  • Alan Riley, City University will cover the potential economic importance and implications for Wales, whilst making some comparative assessment with the impact that fracking has had in the United States

9 thoughts on “Seminar on FRACKING in Cardiff on 19th June – join me!!

  1. Abraham Watkins

    The Chinese government will step into fifth gear this year when it comes exploring for natural gas hidden under thick shale rock beneath the earth’s surface, an official said over the weekend. China’s been promising to move forward on shale gas production for the past two years.


  2. Philip Anderson

    This is a genuine seminar from specialist to learn about the legal implications of Fracking. Its not a ‘pro-fracking’ seminar, UKELA is absolutely neutral on this topic. In other words, a demonstration is not appropriate. Obviously you are free to demonstrate – its a free country – but really folks, this is not an appropriate ‘target’, there are better.


    1. Bridgend or Swansea Green Party - South Wales West Post author

      I am keen to learn about the legal implications myself and also keen to see how the issues are presented.

      If there is any demonstration, it will not be against UKELA, although excuse my scepticism about the neutrality of many of your members. They are servicing the wrong side of this issue if I am not mistaken.


      1. Philip Anderson

        Good, I’m glad. But ‘servicing the wrong side of the issue’? I’m guessing what you mean here: many of the lawyers in UKELA are employed to advise their business clients on environmental legislation and controls. But I hope we don’t fall into the trap of the green knee jerk reaction that this is implies they are doing the devil’s work. Obviously a few environmental lawyers may sometimes advise commerical fracking companies on ‘lawful environmental regulatory avoidance’ just as professionally it is appropriate for accountants to advise on ‘lawful tax avoidance’ (not that this professional impartiality entirely lets the adviser off the moral hook on either environmental or tax issues in my opinion).

        UKELA is not the legal arm of Greenpeace but it has dealt with issues of interest to all environmentalists not just lawyers. In particular it has been instrumental in publicising the ‘Wild Law’ debate about according nature ‘legal rights’. Folk may be cynical of lawyers (for good reason no doubt) but lets not be silly about this – any Green political action ultimately needs to take a written legal form i.e. we can’t all be anarchists and direct action agitators for ever. Eventually green policy has to translate into green law that is internally consistent, well drafted and enforceable. And unfortunately law making means work for lawyers.

        UKELA is definitely not the voice of commercial interests either. I think its a great ‘think tank’ resource, all the better because it does not approach issues with an almost theological notion of what the answer should be. My big beef with some people in Green politics (excepting yourself of course), is that some folk lack an interest in listening to the full range of expert opinion, only to experts they already agree with. Anyone in any case can find an expert that just confirms one’s prejudices but it takes a very reasonable person to be prepared to listen to all sides who are prepared to give a rational argument. I think environmental policy should be science and evidence led; this may not be satisfying for some touchy-feely activists but it is the only way you can safely make public policy.


      2. Bridgend or Swansea Green Party - South Wales West Post author

        Thank you Philip. This is a thoughtful, interesting, balanced and useful contribution, that with your permission, I would like to share with a wider audience.
        Your ‘big beef’ belies the merest hint of prejudice, as the points you make following it admit that all sides naturally favour evidence that favours their position.
        This particular debate really hinges on what value you put on notions such as ‘the precautionary principle’; ‘reasonable doubt’ in uncharted territory; and ‘legally binding’ emissions targets in the context of the 2008 Claimate Change Act.
        Coming from a Geology/Geography scientific background, and being a committed member of the Rationalist association to boot, I am very comfortable with my position.
        You say: “I think environmental policy should be science and evidence led; this may not be satisfying for some touchy-feely activists but it is the only way you can safely make public policy.”
        I agree wholeheartedly, although I would subsitute the ‘touchy-feely activists’ bit (a tad more prejudice coming out there Philip!) with ‘hard-nosed capitalists’, but hey that may be my prejudice coming out.
        I will look forward to meeting you on Wednesday.
        Andy Chyba.


  3. Philip Anderson

    Well said Andy. Prejudice? perhaps. Don’t get me wrong, I can be touchy-feely too. I admit that viscerally, i.e. ‘in my guts’ I just don’t like the ‘idea’ of fracking. But I want to be informed of the rational arguments and issues, like yourself. I’ve booked into the seminar, see you all there!



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