The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris TD has welcomed the commitment by Minister Pat Rabbitte to request that the Environmental Protection Agency carry out a study into the effects of hydraulic fracturing prior to the granting of full exploration licenses for the Lough Allen Basin which contains large deposits of natural gas.
Deputy Ferris also pointed out that the real issue remained the fact that under current licensing and revenue terms any gas brought on stream would not benefit the Irish people as it should.
Deputy Ferris said: “I welcome the Minister’s announcement as considerable unease has been expressed in the counties concerned regarding the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, on the environment and on people’s health. I would go further and propose that that method of extraction be banned given its poor record internationally.
“I would also stress that the real issue remains the fact that as the current licensing and revenue terms apply no real benefit will accrue to the Irish people. That is why Sinn Féin has called for a radical overhaul of the taxation structure which governs oil and gas profits, and for the state to take a substantial stake in all oil and gas finds.” ENDS