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Anti-fracking protest gets underway

Protest gets underway at the Senedd Credit: ITV Wales/Nicola Hendy
Environmental groups Friends of the Earth Cymru and Frack Free Wales have organised the event Credit: ITV Wales/Nicola Hendy

An anti-fracking demonstration is taking place outside of the Senedd, as part of co-ordinated anti-fracking protests around the world.

Environmental groups Friends of the Earth Cymru and Frack Free Wales are organising the event.

In a statement, a Welsh Government spokesperson said:

"We are committed to ensuring that the economy and people of Wales benefit from energy developments. The evidence currently available is insufficient to determine whether gas from hydrocarbons in Wales can contribute to the future energy mix and provide benefits to the people of Wales. This will only be determined through further exploration and research."

– Welsh Government spokesperson

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Anti-fracking demonstration to take place in Cardiff

Fracking is controversial in Wales and across the UK. Credit: PA

An anti-fracking demonstration is to take place outside the Senedd later as part of co-ordinated anti-fracking protests around the world.

Environmental groups Friends of the Earth Cymru and Frack Free Wales are organising the event in the Welsh capital, which will get underway from midday.

Anti-frackers encourage Cardiff public to sign petition

Friends of the Earth Cymru are holding an event in Cardiff encouraging people to show opposition to so-called 'fracking' in Wales.

It's one of 18 events taking place all over Wales.

Events are taking place all over Wales

The organisation says more than a million people in Wales live in areas at risk from the process used to exploit gas and oilf rom shale rock.

There have already been a number of applications for test drillings in Wales
Environmentalists fear it can cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage

'Fracking' involves drilling down before fracturing layers of rock using a pressurised liquid.

A report last month says shale gas represents an opportunity for Wales, but that it must not come at the expense of Wales's natural environment.

Anti-fracking events to get underway across Wales

Anti-fracking street stalls and events are taking place across Wales today, with thousands of people expected to join environmental groups demanding that the Welsh Government bans the drilling process.

Fracking is seen as a controversial way to extract shale gas. Credit: ITV News Wales

Friends of the Earth say over a million people in Wales live in areas at risk from the process used to extract shale gas.

They say more should be done to cut energy waste and develop Wales' potential to find cleaner energy sources.

However, The Welsh Government say appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the environment in regards to dealing with natural gas and minerals.

Vivienne Westwood on anti-fracking campaign

Dame Vivienne Westwood is a committed anti-fracking campaigner Credit: Press Association Images

The designer, Dame Vivienne Westwood, is attending an event in Swansea later today called 'We need to talk about fracking.' It's part of a nationwide tour following on from an open letter printed in the Times and signed by over 150 celebrities and scientists calling for more debate on fracking.

There are reserves of shale gas in parts of south Wales and licences for exploratory drilling have already been granted by several councils. The UK government supports the extraction saying it could reduce energy bills and create thousands of jobs.

Fracking - short for "hydraulic fracturing" - involves drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

Environmentalists fear it can cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage.

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Three applications to test drill for gas approved

Three applications to test drill for gas have been approved by Vale of Glamorgan Council's planning committee.

Bridgend company Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd wants to carry out exploratory tests at three sites at Llandow, Llantrithyd, and near Dyffryn.

Fracking is common in America - and very controversial here.

The test drilling could then lead to the process of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - where water, sand and chemicals are pumped into a well to split the rock, and release gas.

Campaigners have raised fears about water contamination, and say even exploratory drilling will damage the countryside with excess noise and traffic.

Supporters say fracking could provide vital affordable energy.

Developers drilling elsewhere with 'no major incidents'

Cliff Patten, Planning Consultant for Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd - whose applications to test drill for gas are being considered by Vale of Glamorgan Council this evening - says the company has drilled six boreholes in South Wales "without any major incidents."

He told our Correspondent Carole Green "this is a fairly ordinary application - hundreds of these have been drilled" throughout the UK.

  1. Carole Green

Campaigners call on Vale Council to reject gas drill plans

Anti-fracking campaigners in the Vale Of Glamorgan are tonight demonstrating in Barry, to demand that councillors turn down plans to test drill at three sites.

The Brigend company Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd wants to carry out exploratory tests at locations including Llandow and Llantrithyd. It also has plans to test drill near Llantrisant.

The protest group Villages Against Drilling says exploratory drilling for gas will spoil the countryside, but those in favour dismiss the environmental concerns, saying test drilling is a step on the road to fracking which in turn could provide vital affordable energy.

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