An amazing day!
It started off at 12.30 with a Rally outside Leinster House that was attended by members of over 20 organisations, all with placards, banners and home-made signs. The message was made loud and clear: We want the discredited EPA study on fracking STOPPED and we want No Fracking in Ireland! Attendees included people from all over Ireland – Dublin, Clare, Sligo Wexford, Leitrim and Fermanagh. FRACKING IS A NATIONAL ISSUE!
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Many thanks to Just Multimedia for their excellent edit and speedy production!
Meeting Public Representatives in Leinster House
Aedín McLoughlin made the first presentation titled: “EPA Study on Fracking: A Compromised Process”. Her main points were:
- This study does not explore policy on fracking; it is focussed on the process of allowing fracking in Ireland.
- The study is controlled by the oil and gas industry, who are carrying out the bulk of the work and writing it up.
- Health impacts are not included in the study, instead they are looking at the role of HIA in regulation (Health Impact Assessment)
- Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), who were to guarantee the independence of the study, opted out of the research team before it started; yet the Oireachtas and Minister were informed that QUB were an integral member of the consortium. This study is NOT independent.
Download the presentation: Oireachtas presentation 051115
Accompanying document: EPA study progress report September 2015
Briefing document for TDs: Briefing Document 051115
Tom White (Love Leitrim) gave a presentation on the situation in Northern Ireland, where the Minister announced new controls on applications for extraction of hydrocarbons that included fracking. There is a presumption against fracking “until it can be proved that it can be done safely”. This is NOT A BAN. Exploration can proceed, boreholes can be drilled and flared, huge quantities of water and chemicals can be used.
Oisín Coghlan (Friends of the Earth) widened the subject of debate. He spoke about climate change and the necessity to reduce our carbon emissions. Friends of the Earth want fracking to be banned in Ireland. There will be a big climate march in Dublin on 29th November; the campaign against fracking is an important aspect of this movement and he expects to see this campaign featuring prominently at the march.
Eamon Ryan (The Green Party) said that Ireland does not need fracking! At present, and for the foreseeable future, there is no question of energy security as far as gas is concerned. Europe has established pipelines and new sources of gas that ensures our supply. We need to focus on renewable energies, especially in the generation of electricity, and to lower our carbon emissions by being smart. The people at the core of policy-making still think that renewable energies are more expensive than fossil fuels. We have to change their mindsets and make them realise that WE DO NOT NEED TO FRACK!