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Report (3rd Day)

Part of Infrastructure Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 10th November 2014.

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Photo of Lord Wigley Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru 6:45 pm, 10th November 2014

As I was saying before such diverse interventions, I welcome these amendments. They exclude important parts of these islands from the impact of fracking.

I come back to the experience of the United States—I will be talking more about that in the next group of amendments. The experience of the United States has been scorned in our previous debates, but it teaches us to be extremely careful before allowing such developments in our more sensitive rural areas. I accept that perhaps the rules will be different in the United Kingdom compared to the United States. That is one of the reasons why we need to have rules in the United Kingdom to look after these areas. Most certainly in the United States, to my knowledge, there are areas that have suffered not just from the effects underground but also very badly on the surface.

Noble Lords will be aware of the classic book Rape of the Fair Country by Alexander Cordell. We in Wales know what such extractive industry can do to our beautiful countryside and its effect on all sorts of wildlife. My only reservation with this amendment is merely that it does not go far enough and that many sensitive environments are excluded from being governed by it.