A US private equity backed firm recently started pumping highly pressurised water mixed with chemicals and sand nearly 3000m underground into a shale gas reservoir near Blackpool.The process, known as fracking because it fractures rock to produce gas, has been criticised as having the potential to contaminate water supplies and agricultural land.
The process was halted following a small earthquake which it was thought could have resulted from it.
Now there are plans afoot to start fracking in Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan and that could be just the start as it is estimated there is a substantial amount of this gas throughout South Wales . A test site is planned in Maesteg, which Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black has already expressed concerns about.
There is the usual argument that this will bring economic rewards, but money is most certainly not everything. This process has already been banned elsewhere, why should we be the guinea pigs for a process which we know so little about?