WALES Green Party leader Pippa Bartolotti has urged First Minister Carwyn Jones to reject the possibility that any fracking sites might be set up in South Wales.

In an open letter published on the Green Party’s website, she said any acceptance of British Government money to support fracking would be “a bribe” taken in return for damaging the Welsh countryside.

She said much of the South Wales countryside could be ruined because of the locations of shale gas reserves “from south Monmouthshire to Swansea Bay.”

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of drilling the ground and injecting fluid at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas contained inside.

Ms Bartolotti claimed there would be no savings for energy users in Wales if fracking got the go-ahead.

And she said any profits generated by the schemes would go to foreign multinationals like Total, the French energy firm, which might not even declare profits in the UK.

She said: “It will not augur well for the Wales Government to be seen taking bribes from a government consisting largely of the friends of multinationals, whether in banking, in retail, or in energy, and there’s a disturbing number of members of the Westminster government with close links to the fossil fuel industry, because that’s all fracking is – just another fossil fuel.”

She raised the plight of some towns in Texas in the United States which have been extensively fracked.

The prime minister, David Cameron, announced on Monday that as part of the government providing its support for fracking and “going all out for shale,” English local authorities that allow drilling will receive 100 per cent of the business rates collected.

Councils had been previously been able to keep 50 per cent of the rates.

Earlier on Monday, Total had announced plans to invest £30million to drill two new exploratory wells in Lincolnshire.

It is the first time a major energy firm has said it will invest in fracking in the UK.