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« Green, peaceful? | Main | Chronique du climat »
Thursday
Feb052015

The sheep in Wales

With the Scottish Government having made its absurd - if understandable - decision to put a moratorium on shale gas developments, lawmakers in Cardiff have noted the benefits to their own careers and have followed suit.

The Welsh parliament has voted against the use of shale gas fracking in Wales, just one week after Scotland passed a fracking moratorium, highlighting growing discontent with the British government's push to tap shale gas resources.

A proposal against shale gas fracking was voted through in the Welsh Assembly late on Wednesday, effectively making it impossible for shale gas developments to receive planning permits in Wales.

As ever with the public sector, you see that decisions are made for the benefit of the staff rather than those they allegedly work for. There are 100,000 unemployed people in Wales.

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Reader Comments (30)

An assembly dominated by the Labour party this time. So we know exactly what to expect from Labour for England. So much for acting on the weight of scientific evidence. More like caving in to the anti-progressives!

Feb 5, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

The Welsh Assembly is rather like the Scottish Government. It prefers to desecrate the countryside with useless (green) wind turbines and new lines of pylons rather than with near-invisible fracking pads that would produce useful energy. The green blob has infested (infected) everywhere that decisions are made. England should not follow the Welsh and Scottish Luddites. Let them rely on their wind turbines.

Feb 5, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I wonder if the Welsh are principled enough to decline the benefits of English fracking (assuming ...). Oh no ... sorry. What is Welsh for hypocrite again?

Feb 5, 2015 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Steve: "rhagrithiwr" (Don't ask me to pronounce it!

Feb 5, 2015 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

The Reuters report is misleading. The Assembly voted for the Plaid Cmyru proposal for a moratorium. But, it is only an intention, powers to control fracking in Wales lie with Westminster, so a Welsh moratorium could only happen if Westminster was to devolve such powers to the Assembly.

Feb 5, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

This is actually untrue. This was a motion put forward by Plaid Cymru and passed. However, this is only a wish, the Welsh Assembly Government does NOT have the power as yet to implement it and is governed by last week's Westminster decision. There is no doubt that Cardiff would agree a moratorium as things stand, but they cannot. Welsh Labour are pribably waiting for a a clean bill of health from England's record, since they face elections in 2016.

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

You can guarantee that they will bleat that Westminster is not doing enough to create jobs in Wales. #greenhypocrites, or should that be #rhagrithiwr-gwyrdd?

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The public sector needs to think about where the wealth comes from to pay itself, a subject conspicuous by its absence in the words of politicians and the media.

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

And a good percentage of their population in fuel poverty. High energy costs are contributing to the needless premature deaths of the elderly who live in old, cold and damp homes who cannot afford to properly heat themselves.

One day, when this grubby edifice falls down, people will examine how the UK came to adopt such a silly energy policy needlesss escalating the cost of energy to the detrimemt of its people and industry, and why it failed to take sensible steps to exploit energy reserves that would serve to lessen high energy proces for the good of its people and industries (including the employment that results therefrom).

Of course by that time, no one will be around to carry the can. That is one of the major failing in western democracy, lack of holding people in public office accountable for their actions. As consequence of this failing, those in public office do not need to consider the implications of the policies they pursue, and do not need to consider whether they are acting diligently or not.

British politics is broken and requires radical reform, but the political elite naturally will not address the issue since turkeys do not vote for Christmas.

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

It's simple enough for even pre-schoolers to understand:
No energy > no heat > no cooking > no transportation > no food --- so what difference does it make if no one is working?

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Is there shale gas in Wales ? Wales sitting on gas reserves worth up to £70bn, say experts
11 June 2011

"The Government forecasts that nearly 70% of the UK’s gas supply will be imported by 2025. It is vital that the UK identifies new sources of gas if it is to safeguard the UK’s security of supply."
16 June 2014 welsh-affairs-committee UK Parliament

Question for Welsh Gov & antifrakkers :
- "what type of PROVEN base load power do you support building to back up intermittent renewables? Nuclear, Coal or Gas?"

@Radical Rodent replied
"it might be a good idea to stop the use of the erroneous term “renewables”
better to call them “intermittent alternatives”.

Feb 5, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen

Perhaps IGD - Intermittent Generation Device

Feb 5, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

"British politics is broken and requires radical reform, but the political elite naturally will not address the issue since turkeys do not vote for Christmas."

I think the 'political elite' hahaha do not even realise that British politics is broken and reckon that even if there is a problem then the remedy is even larger doses of social democracy.....which is precisely what has brought us pretty near to the brink of ruin (the Greeks are a little further down the road we're marching along)....

Feb 5, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Mikky - you are absolutely correct.

BUT the problem is deeper, and it doesn't just apply to the public sector and politicians (all parties as far as I can see). The education system is at fault (IMHO), hopelessly liberal and devoid of common sense. The real world is not explained to children today, they are told that half of them need a university degree for a start, and debt will be good for them.

People will frequently rail against the state of their country, but few are willing to do anything about it.

Recent example - someone who is worried that their job in local government might be cut in April, but is currently looking to buy a new car with a Renault being his current front runner. He moans that his bankrupt country is not supporting his job but doesn't even consider supporting a car worker in the UK (that is different of course).

An example from the past - during the miners' strike in the 80's a coal mine official told several of us in the pub (in no uncertain terms) that we should be forced to buy British coal and imported coal should be banned - he then left and climbed into his Daihatsu to drive home.

I have never quite worked out whether people are just unaware or simply don't give a Sh1t.


In the spirit of total disclosure - I am a long retired civil servant (as I have admitted on here before). I have long ago decided that I will always try to buy British goods if I can (and it is possible more then one realises), and will definitely not buy cars from any company that does not at least support some manufacturing/assembly jobs in the UK. The UK is a trading nation and I am not a bigot when it comes to purchases, but I try to buy sensibly - after all have you seen our balance of trade??

Feb 5, 2015 at 12:28 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

The notorious Julia Gillard was from Wales.
Enough said.

Feb 5, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy:

"One of the first hydraulic fractures in the UK took place in Airdrie nearly 50 years ago and fracking also took place inside the Glasgow city boundary in 1989 at Easterhouse. Scotland is therefore no guinea pig."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30959646

Feb 5, 2015 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

Bloke down the pub - "hypocrites", is plural so it should be "rhagrithwyr gwyrdd".

Feb 5, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefor Jones

This puts the harsh light of reality on the hope some skeptics have that people are waking up to the madness of the climate obsession.

Feb 5, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

'Thing is, Dai, we don't want any of that nasty FRA...cking here in Wales, do we boyo..?
Bloody 'ell, see - its far more dangerous than sending men underground to dig for coal in nice clean, safe, coal mines...
Anyway - see you at the unemployment office again in the morning, is it..?'

Feb 5, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

any riffs on how green was their valley?

Feb 5, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Sure, we can still become poorer. It is still possible. Bring it on.

Feb 5, 2015 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

High CO2 coal at 30% of electricity generation. 60% lower CO2 from gas generation at 40%. 21 million
homes in Britain are heated by mains gas (83 per cent of all homes) : 84 per cent in England, 76 per cent in Scotland and 79 per cent in Wales.
Putin is flying nuclear bombers around Britain's coast. A gas plant in Pembroke will not be built because of the uncertainty of investment.

Well done Welsh Parliament.

Feb 5, 2015 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

"The Welsh Parliament"

That's so funny but only if you live in England, if you're Welsh it ain't very funny at all.

Mind you having said that, we have ourselves a journey, an Odyssey to undertake and it is thousands and thousands of miles and miles to travel, here in England - what happened in Rotherham proves the point.

Feb 5, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Regardless that it is just a wish, not a policy, the decision will filter down to the local government planning departments as intended and they can prevaricate until hell freezes over. I hope we can get US shale gas at a decent price.

Feb 5, 2015 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

The "leave the carbon in the ground" argument doesn't work for industry on a global scale. It just means you export your manufacturing to somewhere else who will exploit their resources to provide us with cheap goods. Which then have to be shipped around the world using aviation or bunker fuel.

The option to convert domestic heating and cooking to electricity, whether green or or not is unthinkable in the short term. So the option is to ship gas from abroad. Again the 'carbon' is still used but the impact is intensified by the energy cost of shipping.

The safety arguments are left. As far as I can see he science is on the side of the hazards being costed well below the value of the benefits.

For me the biggest argument for unconventional is that it is entirely funded by private finance unlike renewables that require subsidies to make them economic.

Why this isn't all obvious is a mystery to me.

Feb 5, 2015 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

@ Jonathan Drake Feb 5, 2015 at 1:08 PM

Minor correction: your quote is misattributed. It's from Ken Cronin, CE of UKOOG. Neither Murphy nor any Scots politician - MSP or MP - is willing to kick in any way against the necessary cross party dogma however sensible it might appear, hence the recent focused political one-upmanship.

http://www.ukoog.org.uk/about-ukoog/press-releases/143-ukoog-comment-on-the-announcement-by-scottish-government-on-fracking

This, of course, is not unexpected, given Scotland's 2009 'Climate Change Declaration Act', wherein there was adopted a 'world-leading CO2 emissions reduction target' of 80% by 2040.' Damn it if those figures since haven't exceeded targets.

Feb 5, 2015 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdc

The Welsh Assembly..... Hmmmm....

Probably warrants the same assessment as Billy Connolly's comment aimed at Holyrood, calling it 'That wee pretendy parliament...'

Feb 6, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

clovis marcus

Exactly - but fairy dust will see us through!

Feb 6, 2015 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Thanks, sherlock. I can hear Billy in my head, complete with accent - "that wee, pretendy Parliament."

Spot on, Billy.

Feb 6, 2015 at 4:23 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Decisions like this remind me forcefully of someone's (I forget who) definition of Politics...

Poly - meaning many

Tics - small, blood-sucking insects....

Feb 7, 2015 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

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