Battle underway to halt fracking plans
THE fight against "extreme energy" in Llanelli has begun.
A group calling itself Frack Off Llanelli met in the town's Glenalla Civic Hall last week in order to draw up battle plans to prevent a process of extracting gas from the Loughor Estuary's coal seams know as underground coal gasification (UCG).
The meeting attracted more than 100 people from Waunarlwydd to Laugharne.
One of the group's organisers, Paul Jennings, said: "The objective is to start a visible and vocal opposition to extreme energy in Llanelli and the surrounding region.
"If we carry on the way we are with carbon dioxide I'm fearful for the future of my grandchildren.
"This is an issue for Llanelli, the surrounding area, Wales and the whole world."
To date, the group has nearly 2,000 members on Facebook, and support is growing.
Mr Jennings, who lives near Whitland, said: "Llanelli is not alone, I had a phone call from a lady I didn't know in Scotland, wishing me luck for tonight."
And fellow organiser Keith Ross, of campaign group Swansea Against Fracked Energy, said: "We are concerned about all forms of unconventional gas, including underground coal gasification, for environmental reasons which you can divide into local — that is the potential for pollution and damage to the local environment — and global, in these gasses are fossil fuels, they emit carbon dioxide, so how are we going to meet our carbon reduction targets if we just keep digging more gas out of the ground?
"Most people we speak to have no idea this is going on."
Llanelli resident Chris Bingo added: "It's going to affect the whole Llanelli area with very probable pollution of the water table and pollution in the air. Everyone should be concerned about it."
Councillor Winston Lemon, who was at the meeting, said afterwards: "My personal opinion is no thank you, I don't want it on my doorstep.
"At the moment I've got concerns but I can only say that on what I've heard.
"There are people who are positive about it. It's about 70 to 30 against.
"I'm still in the learning process."
And Sean Rees, of Llanelli's Plaid Cymru branch, said worried residents had contacted the party about the issue.
"Our view is making sure we get energy and natural resources devolved to Wales," he said.
"What concerns us is you're going to have property prices plummeting.
"It doesn't do much for the tourist industry."