AN open letter to First Minister, Carwyn Jones:
I understand that the Welsh Government is under great pressure to declare its hand on fracking, and therefore I am writing to you to explain why accepting David Cameron's thirty pieces of silver would be the wrong decision.
It is, of course, a bribe. The fact that Cameron has resorted to bribery shows just how desperately he wants fracking to go ahead, and how unpalatable the very idea of fracking is to our communities. One look at an arial view of fracking sites in Texas tells all. In one area there are more than 100,000 fracking wells, and now Texas faces a water shortage. Fracking ‘pads’ multiply faster than rabbits in a warm summer. This is the economic wonder of fracking
I haven't noticed any community fracking schemes – anywhere in the world - for what community would really want such a thing. And I haven't noticed any similar bribes for renewable energy farms be they wind, solar or tide. It’s the fracking way or nothing from Cameron.
The benefits outlined today are a fiction. The US has a huge internal economy, and its energy prices are determined internally. By contrast the UK energy prices are bought and sold on the international market, and the pricing is way out of our control. There will be no savings for energy users. Furthermore the bulk of the profits will go to Total, a huge French multinational with hungry shareholders to satisfy, and who may not even declare profits here in the UK. One per cent of nothing is nothing.
Fracking is banned in France, so it is a great irony that a French company, barred from tearing up it’s own country, is coming to tear up ours. Bulgaria has long banned fracking, and Germany will soon follow suit.
It will not augur well for the Wales Government to be seen taking bribes from a government consisting largely of the friends of multinationals, whether in banking, in retail, or in energy, and there's a disturbing number of members of the Westminster government with close links to the fossil fuel industry, because that all fracking is – just another fossil fuel.
Shortermism has been the order of the day for too long, and Wales would be better advised to take the long view, especially as the Jane Davidson (2011) report pointed out that we have more than twice the renewable energy we need in clean renewables.
Money isn’t everything, but David Cameron is locked in the thought that it is. You may be under pressure to ‘take the money’ but it is in all our interests that you ‘open the box’ of renewables and sets industry and community on a clear course of investment in price certainty, real energy security, and a commitment to truly uphold our Zero Carbon pledge.
Fracking is the front line of climate change. Decisions taken now will either send us further down the fossil fuel burning route to an overheated planet, or lift us up to the one planet solution so urgently needed. In my view the people of Wales would be proud to move against Westminster bribery and forge forward with the energy revolution, so that this generation's legacy can be an environment fit for the future, fit for our grandchildren.
Sadly for us all, if it’s only a question of money, you will accept the bribe and the ground will be pillaged and polluted until there is nothing.
Arweinydd Plaid Werdd Cymru