EPA should ask "Is Fracking Really a Good Idea for Ireland?"

8 March 2013
Fracking could accelerate climate change, destroy communities and landscapes, and prevent creation of sustainable employment and that is before we look at the impacts of the technology itself.
“No good doctor would try to minimise the symptoms of a disease, without looking at the overall health of a patient,” said Charles Stanley-Smith spokesman for the Environmental Pillar, “in the same way no responsible government should allow fracking to take place in Ireland without thoroughly looking at all the potential impacts on the health of our environment, society and economy.  Short term gains can lead to long-term ailments.  Have we forgotten the madness of the Celtic Tiger already?”
Unconventional shale gas extraction or Fracking must be seen in this wider global context, and, the EPA research must answer the big questions:

  • Will it add to the already high dependence on fossil fuels?
  • Is it a good move for Ireland’s long-term sustainability?
  • Will it prevent the development of a renewable energy industry in Ireland, and the necessary move away from fossil fuels?
  • How will industrialisation impact on the peoples and landscapes of traditional rural parts of Ireland?

The answers to these and a wide range of other questions are essential if the EPA research is going to give the Government the full diagnosis it needs, in order to know how to operate for the well-being of the Irish people of this and future generations.

The Environmental Pillar made a submission today to the EPA regarding the Terms Of Reference (TOR) for its forthcoming study into the Environmental Impacts of Fracking. The Submission can be downloaded from here. 
The Environmental Pillar believes that the study should include both the direct and indirect effects of fracking including:
  • The full range of potential environmental impacts  during build-up, operation and decommissioning, on:
    1. human beings, fauna and flora;
    2. soil, water, air, climate and the landscape;
    3. material assets and the cultural heritage;
    4. the interaction between the factors referred to in points i, ii, or iii
  • The economic impacts, short and long-term on the local economies
  • The social impacts resulting from potential community conflict and the industrialisation of rural communities.
  • The regulatory environment.
  • Fracking gas, like natural gas is not a renewable energy so the effect of the gas on climate change and our commitments towards the Kyoto protocol must be included in any comprehensive study on the impacts of fracking.

End of press release