After the UK Prime Minister Liz Truss granted new fracking licences last week, many Welsh residents have been contacting their Welsh Government representatives to ask whether the same would happen here in Wales.
Huw Irranca-Davies, MS for Ogmore asked the First Minister what would happen in Wales – and Mark Drakeford’s answer firmly confirmed that there are no plans for fracking in Wales, with the Welsh Government’s plans for energy being based upon Wales strengths in the renewables market.
The exchange is detailed below:
20/09/2022 14:16:54 / Huw Irranca-Davies MS
First Minister, in your engagement with the new Prime Minister, when that happens, could I ask you to raise the pressing issue of clarification on the issue of fracking? Now, fracking is unsustainable and untenable environmentally and in respect of the climate change emergency. It contributes diddly squat to affordability or to supplying domestic UK markets because it is sold onto global markets for the profits of the shareholders of those companies. So, the Prime Minister and the Rt Hon Member for south-west Norfolk can frack to her heart’s content in her constituency and receive, no doubt, the enduring thanks of her constituents, but if you do get a chance, First Minister, could you explain to the Prime Minister, in an idiom that she might well understand, ‘You frack if you want to. Wales is not for fracking’?
20/09/2022 14:17:54 / Mark Drakeford MS / First Minister of Wales
Well, I do thank Huw Irranca-Davies for that. I can assure him that the Prime Minister’s announcement in relation to fracking has no impact here in Wales, and the Welsh Government’s policy remains entirely unchanged. We will not solve the energy crisis by reverting to ways of supplying energy that have done so much damage to our planet. And it is particularly frustrating to see time, energy and money being diverted in that direction when there is so much that could be done, and done more quickly and done with better effect by investing that time, energy and money in the production of renewable forms of energy generation in which Wales has such potential.
Our efforts as a Government will be in that direction, looking to use our natural resources to find the power that will be needed here in Wales to develop those ideas that will be useful around the globe and to defend the energy security of the United Kingdom at the same time as making sure that we are not vulnerable to the global shifts that have created part of the cost-of-living crisis that faces families in Wales this coming winter.
It seems therefore that, at least for the foreseeable future, fracking is firmly off the table in Wales.