The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications is holding a meeting today (Wednesday, October 10), devoted solely to Fracking.
Dr Aedín McLoughlin from Ballinaglera, a Board Member of Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI), has been asked to make a submission to the Committee, representing the campaign against fracking in Ireland.
Tamboran Ltd. had previously accepted an invitation to attend this meeting on behalf of the gas industry and also make a submission but has recently withdrawn for reasons unknown. It is possible that this change of heart follows the step-down of Richard Moorman as Chief Executive.
“This changes the whole tone of the meeting and we will be able to make our case against Fracking very powerfully,” said Aedín. “Officials from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will speak first, then the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and finally myself on behalf of the campaign.
“I will be focusing on the enormous scale of the proposed shale gas project, which people don’t appreciate, and the reasons why Fracking must not be allowed in Ireland, including the risks to our land, our water and our health, as well as dividing communities and endangering the important existing industries of agriculture and tourism.”
This meeting was to be held on 25th September but was put back until 10th October to allow the EU Commissioner for Energy Gúnther Oettinger to address the Committee during his visit to Ireland that week.
In response to questions asked by Leitrim Senator Paschal Mooney, he said that no decisions should be taken on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for ten years.
“It is not enough that politicians make comments like these”, commented Aedín McLoughlin.
“Initially, we need a clear commitment by the Government that they will not issue any licences for on-shore shale gas exploration or development.
“Following which, it must be adopted by Government as policy that high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be prohibited in Ireland.
“This technology is totally unsuitable for the geology, climate and environment of Ireland, is not safe and imposes too many risks to our health and well-being.”