A ridiculous situation
As no doubt you are aware, the Irish EPA are coordinating a 2-year Research Study on Fracking in Ireland. This was to be an independent study to advise Government (North and South) on fracking.
It has now emerged that the two main contributors to the study – CDM Smith and Amec Foster Wheeler, are both consultants to the oil and gas industry, and Amec Foster Wheeler is currently a member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Two Universities involved, U.C.D and UU, have minor roles and Queen’s University Belfast has pulled out of the research.
This is patently ridiculous. We cannot expect unbiased research from consultancy firms who support fracking operations. The research, instead of “furthering our understanding of the potential impacts on the environment and human health from UGEE projects/operations” (Terms of Reference), is based on how to regulate fracking, rather than whether it is safe and should be allowed at all. Impacts of fracking on public health are not included in the study.
This study is not fit for purpose. The Ministers for Environment and Energy have consistently stated that no decisions will be made on fracking until the research study is “completed and considered”. This is no longer acceptable given the situation that this study is seriously flawed and its independence is questionable, at the very least. We are looking for you to support us in calling for suspension of the study immediately, and a review of the Public Health impacts of fracking to be commissioned, modeled on the study done in New York State.
A Public Meeting is being held on Saturday 17th October at 7.30pm in Ballroom of Romance, Glenfarne to discuss the situation. The meeting will be addressed by national and international experts followed by a panel discussion. We hope that you will be able to attend and that you will bring along anyone else who can offer support.