Saturday, 6 December 2014

Phurnacite shows why we must have local control over fracking.

 Pressure is growing for the National Assembly to have the same control over fracking that the Scottish Parliament is due to gain following the landmark recommendations of the Smith Commission.
If you need to see why have a look at recent posts of Plaid Wrecsam  who have en covering attempts to protest about surveys in their in their area which ended up with the Bailiffs being called in and the protesters evicted.
The Wales Office is studying the commission’s proposals and aims to present cross-party plans for the further devolution of powers by St David’s Day.
Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley (who clearly has his political Mojo back which is much welcome)  attempted to amend Westminster’s Infrastructure Bill so that AMs would be responsible for fracking and said the party’s MPs would make a new push when the legislation returns to the Commons.
However despite such powers seemingly being seen as appropriate for Scotland it is clear that one of the reasons for this is  the SNP’s Political Strength
 “The strength of the SNP is enough to safeguard the interests of Scotland. Plaid Cymru must win more seats and much more influence at Westminster, if we are to secure the powers to control such unacceptable developments in Wales.”
 A Welsh Government spokesman said: 

“If onshore oil and gas licensing powers are to be devolved to Scotland, there are no reasons why such powers should also not be devolved to Wales. The devolution of powers for the consenting of all energy projects and energy infrastructure, with the exception of nuclear power, would enable us to realise our ambition to put in place a single, streamlined and transparent process for Wales.”
Which looks like a Yes for devolving fracking to me but you never know with Welsh Labour
For some reason the Easting Mule could only find "a spokesman" from the other parties in the Assembly
A Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman said: Who Federal party remember are part of the Westminster coalition  said
 “A number of fundamental safety and environmental concerns regarding fracking are yet to be addressed...
“Welsh Lib Dems are already calling for a number of energy planning responsibilities to be devolved to Wales. We are looking carefully at the proposal for fracking licensing as part of the Smith Commission to see if Wales should also have powers in this area.”
For some reason the Conservative Assembly group declined to comment on the devolution of fracking but said: 
A set of commitments agreed by the four main parties will be announced ahead of St David’s Day next year.”
Which seems to be an indication that such powers are not included in these commitments  

Back in 2012  I blogged about the toxic legacy of the Phurnacite plant at  Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley .

And remembered at the time I remember a local politician in the 80's saying 

"Only when the Phurnacite becomes unprofitable will the claims about the pollution be heard "

And I wrote 

It is an example of how Wales was exploited for its mineral wealth from the Slate Quarries , Coal , Steel etc. and we must make sure that we have full control of all ways our Nation run including the monitoring of Industry to ensure they are not harming Workers the local population and the environment,

Fracking  clearly falls in to that criteria and we must examine the long term effects of this . But it must be made her in Wales not by some Tory from Surrey or other  leafy English constituency.,

But it also means that local concerns must be addressed by the Assembly and they alone should not have full control.

I admit there's no guarantee that the  the Government of an Independent Wales will ensure this but at least we the electorate will be responsible if we don't remove them.

1 comment:

  1. Youre right of course Glyn - Wales has to have full powers over such matters. So we can ensure that we can stop fracking taking place anywhere in Wales.

    Regarding dafydd wigley theres no question that plaid has never properly recovered from the strange circumstances which saw his removal as plaid leader back in 2000. dafydd wigley could have been wales own alex samond and plaid blew it big time when they allowed senior figures in the party to engineer his removal.

    Under wigley's charismatic leadership plaid had just stormed labour's strongholds in the south wales valleys in the 1999 Welsh Assembly elections - in the 2014 Euro elections it was Farage's little englanders who stormed the Valleys