American anti-fracking activists call on Taoiseach to not import US fracked gas to Ireland
Government have mislead opposition over PCI meeting this Friday
At a media conference today in Dublin People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said that if the government press ahead and put Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals on the list of EU Projects of Common Interest it would make their plans for climate action redundant.
TDs and NGOs called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to take fracking import projects off this Friday’s EU meeting on Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).
It was revealed earlier this week that the government kept the date of the EU meeting, at which the government will put the Shannon LNG forward for the list of PCIs, a secret, a move described by TD Bríd Smith as “disgraceful and disingenuous in the extreme”.
The TD raised the issue at yesterday’s Order of Business in the Dáil.
Bríd Smith TD said: “The battle against LNGs and fracked gas imports is now at the frontline of the battle against climate change.
“Yet again this Governments hypocrisy and cynicism on climate change is exposed- despite all the rhetoric the reality is utter disregard for the impacts of their policy. Continued support for fracked imports, especially given their methane emissions and their impacts on communities across the US, renders all their rhetoric on climate action meaningless.”
Also in attendance at the media conference was Julia Walsh, founder and Campaign Director of Frack Action.
She said: “Ireland rightly banned fracking 2 years ago based on damage that it inflicts on the environment and public health. I’ve come here to speak for those of us in the United States fighting for a national ban on fracking and to represent the communities who have been devastated by it. We are asking the Taoiseach and the Irish government not to import US fracked gas, which will lock us into fracking and it’s impacts to public health and the climate,”
Anti-fracking advocate and actor Mark Ruffalo said: “Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must learn that climate leaders don’t support fracking. If he allows for the approval of this dangerous LNG fracked gas import facility and other infrastructure at Friday’s EU meeting concerning Projects of Common Interest, he will be both silencing the voice of democracy in Ireland and supporting fracking in America for decades to come.”
Prof Barry McMullen, a DCU engineer and co-author of a number of scientific papers on the impact of the gas on climate targets said: “Ireland – as other wealthy countries with very high per capita emissions – has not yet woken up to the urgency of the climate emergency. LNG, particularly from fracking, remains a fossil fuel with very high emissions intensity. Under the hard constraints of Ireland’s fair share of the global carbon budget, there is no remaining space for its deployment. Ireland does face chronic energy insecurity: but import of fracked LNG is not a credible solution.”
William Hederman from Future Proof Clare, who has been campaigning against the Shannon LNG, said: “There is a rapidly growing resistance in Clare to this planned monstrosity on the Shannon Estuary, a movement that also involves Extinction Rebellion Clare and others. This resistance is driven by the knowledge that here on our doorstep is one of Europe’s biggest environmental threats. The Irish government and EU are ignoring peer-reviewed science. Importing fracked shale gas would be more harmful to the climate than building a new coal-fired power station, because of unavoidable methane leakage during fracking, processing and transporting.”
Kate Ruddock , Deputy Director, Friends of the Earth said: “This is another undemocratic move by the Government to prevent debate on a key climate action issue. To schedule hearings after all the decisions have already been made makes a mockery of our parliament.
“Ireland banned fracking on our land because of the terrible impacts it has on local communities, people’s health, land and water and because of the significant contribution to climate pollution. It is just plain wrong to turn around 2 years later and build infrastructure to create demand for more fracking in other’s lands, so that we can export that fuel across Europe. It is morally reprehensible.”