Ireland votes to ban fracking
The Irish Parliament has voted unanimously in favour of legislation to ban fracking today.
Friends of the Earth Scotland commented: “It is wonderful news that Ireland has voted to ban fracking today. The Irish Parliament has decided that the risks of opening up a new frontier of dirty fossil fuels are just too great.
“This Bill is the result of years of grassroots campaigning, with people across the country raising awareness of the many dangers of the fracking industry and forcing their representatives to act.
“Support for fracking across the UK is at an all time low. People just don’t want this dirty, dangerous industry. We are confident that when the Scottish people are given a chance to have their say in the forthcoming Government consultation, the answer will be a resounding ‘no’ to fracking.”
The private members bill to ban onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction was put forward by Fine Gael backbench TD Tony McLoughlin. It cites international and national climate commitments, the precautionary principle and protecting groundwater as the key reasons to ban fracking.
Earlier this week a report by the Sustainable Water Network was published highlighting the many threats posed to Ireland’s waters by the fracking process, wastewater discharges and leaking and abandoned wells. The report recommended banning fracking to protect Ireland’s water.
The Scottish Government has a temporary ban on onshore oil and gas extraction including shale gas fracking and coalbed methane. It has commissioned a number of studies on climate, health, economic, seismic and transport impacts which are expected to be published soon.