Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA Phil Flanagan has said that no amount of corporate spin will set the minds of residents who are concerned about fracking at ease.
He was reacting to the news that Tamboran are to publish research tomorrow (Wednesday) claiming that there could be up to 4.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves in North Leitrim & West Fermanagh and that up to 1,200 jobs could be created if fracking were to go ahead.
The Sinn Féin Energy Spokesperson said:
"This news is what many people in Fermanagh, Leitrim and further afield have been fearing, but it will not be accepted without some level of scepticism.
"There is a huge groundswell of public opposition to these plans and no amount of corporate spin in this report will set the minds of concerned residents at ease; it is important to remember that this was not an impartial piece of work and it is of course in the company's interests to talk up the potential of the project.
"No matter how much gas Tamboran claim there may be in the area, it will never be used to benefit communities in North Leitrim or West Fermanagh.
"The gas itself will all be exported on the international market, the profits will be taken away by a foreign owned company and the vast majority of tax collected in the north will be handed over to the British government, with minimal taxes being gathered in the south.
"The talk of 1,200 jobs being created is another red herring; whilst these jobs may be created in one off schemes such as laying the concrete in the massive structures that will blight our landscape and compromise our environment, they are not long term jobs and the final number will surely be dwarfed by the consequent job losses in the agriculture and tourism industries.
"The fact that Fermanagh was listed as one of the top 100 tourist destinations by the Sunday Times is testament to the success and potential for the local industry; we would allow people the opportunity to contaminate the natural environment at our peril.
"The real potential for job creation and economic growth in Fermanagh & Leitrim surely lies in the development of clean, renewable sources of energy and that is where we need to focus our attention to attain true security of supply in the coming years.
"The fact that many other countries have moved to slow down or even stop the use of fracking should be a warning call to Ministers on this island; we should at the very least follow their approach and call a halt to this process until all the relevant environmental and economic consequences have been taken into consideration."