On Monday morning, protestors stopped work on the huge gas pipeline that is being built from Milford Haven to Gloucester.
We occupied the 48″ gas pipeline and digging machinery to ensure that no work continues.
The landowner invited us on to her land after she felt deceived by the national grid, hence there was a strange legal situation as we weren’t trespassing. Furthermore, she refused the police permission to come on her land!
She had agreed to allow the pipe being built after being told it would just be a small pipe – the destruction of a 100m wide strip which runs all through her land and the woods above her farm that her grandfather built show that they conned her.
However on Tuesday the police and national grid bullied her into asking us to leave the land where the pipe is being built (not the field where we are camped) otherwise she would not receive her compensation. People were still in the pipeline and up cranes last night and an illegal eviction was due to happen at 8am today (Wednesday)
The pipeline is 48″ in diameter and the national grid want it to be running at 92bar pressure. They admit they have no experience of running a pipeline at such hgh pressure.
Different figures are floating around over how much it is costing but it seems at least Â£700million. According to one of the protesters, it is designed to carry a fifth of the UK’s gas supply.
We need to have 90% cuts in carbon emissions by 2030, yet if we allow this mega-project to go ahead, we will be going in completely the opposite direction. This is a major energy infrastructure project and must be confronted. The government are on paper commited to reducing carbon emissions yet are not changing the energy policy. They are terrified that they wonâ€™t be able to meet gas supply as this would cause the city to go into panic and result in capital leaving the country.
There are loads of safety issues as well with this pipeline. It is being built on unstable land and parents in the nearby school are threatening to remove their childen from the schol if it gets built above their school â€“ for fear of an repeat of Aberfan, where a landslide killed all the children in the primary school. Already there have been landslides on the hill above the site we have occupied that have blocked roads.
Work was due to end in October because of weather but they are behind schedule and hence rushing to push it through. They are being fined a large figure every day they are late (Â£1million a day is floating around) and hence are continuing into November.
Anyone who can get out to the site and get involved with stopping the work should definitely do so. The support of the locals is amazing and they are doing their stuff too; marches, legal proceedings; etc. If you want to go up, then there is a local who drives back from work in Cardiff at 5pm every day and is happy to give lifts to anyone heading up there. His number is 07973619183