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Llanharan anti-fracking victory - but what about longer term?

Fracking has been very much in the news locally again this week as protestors won their fight to have RCT planning committee turn down an application for the drilling of a test bore hole in Llanharan.

Delighted campaigners will now have to wait to see if the company will put in an appeal, but are determined to oppose that with equal fervour.

Hot on the heels of that victory came an announcement from the UK Government that they will not be granting any more licences for fracking in Wales as the power to grant licences is expected to be devolved to Welsh Government in the near future.

What happens then is anyone's guess. There appears to be cross party agreement now that there should be a moratorium on fracking, which is the extraction of gas using water under very high pressure to split the rock. The Environment Minister issued instructions to Local Authorities earlier this year that any application they were minded to approve had to be referred to him. This did not include applications for test drilling such as the one considered by RCT Council for Llanharan. A petition has been set up to ask that test drilling application be included.

It remains to be seen what action Welsh Government will take in future.

In the meantime the Welsh Liberal Democrat position has been clear for some time. We are against fracking and think there should be a country wide moratorium unless and until it could be proven to be absolutely safe, which currently seems highly unlikely.