David Rees AM encourages participation in consultation on petroleum extraction

Welsh Government consults on new powers for petroleum extraction

The Welsh Government has today launched a consultation on policies for the issuing of new licences for petroleum and gas extraction in Wales. As part of the Wales Act 2017, Welsh Ministers will take over responsibility for licensing onshore petroleum extraction from the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) on the 1st October 2018. Thus, not only will planning for any extraction development be in the remit of the Welsh Government but also the licencing of the extraction process.

Announcing the consultation, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:

“The new petroleum licensing powers provide an opportunity to consider what should be our approach to petroleum extraction in Wales, for now and future generations. As a new area of responsibility for the Welsh Government, we commissioned a review of the evidence in 2017 to inform our future policy towards petroleum extraction.

“This consultation seeks views on that evidence and our proposed policy on petroleum extraction including fracking.

“Our aim is to sustainably manage our natural resources in a way which meets the needs of Wales today, without compromising the needs of future generations. To meet our climate change targets, our long-term aim is to remove fossil fuels from our energy mix while minimising economic impact and providing clarity for investors and encouraging them to invest in lower carbon alternatives.”

The Cabinet Secretary added:
“By not undertaking any new petroleum licensing in Wales or supporting applications for hydraulic fracturing petroleum license consents, we will be taking a small, yet important step towards a decarbonised future in Wales and will be contributing to the global movement away from fossil fuels.”

David Rees, Aberavon’s Assembly Member, is encouraging residents and local organisations to get involved in this consultation. He said “It is important that people have their say on the future of gas & oil extraction, including fracking, in Wales. We have already seen the threat of fracking in the Afan Valley with the proposals for a site above Cwmafan and this is an opportunity for Wales to establish a policy that bans fracking and ensures that we take every step towards an environmental friendly policy.”