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Arlene Foster hiding from debate on Fracking- Flanagan

14 June, 2012 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone has stated that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster’s actions with regards to the Co-Operative's sponsorship of the film 'Gaslands' was inappropriate and an effort to stifle debate on fracking.

Speaking today Mr Flanagan said:

"This is a disgraceful effort by Arlene Foster to stifle debate on fracking.

"For any government Minister to criticise an organisation for opening up the debate on fracking from an ethical perspective is regrettable and should not be tolerated.

"Whilst the Minister claims that the film “Gasland” is biased against fracking, she refused to engage in the debate that followed this screening. 

“To dismiss so flippantly alternative opinions is foolish and smacks of arrogance. It seems to me she is intent on forcing the pro-fracking cause through without taking the opinion of concerned bodies and the local residents on board.

"I know that Arlene has been invited to attend a number of public events to debate the pros and cons of fracking. The Co-operative offered her such an opportunity. To date she has declined all of these.

"If she were genuinely concerned about having both sides of the argument represented, then she should take part in a sensible and public debate on the merits of fracking. I would be happy to represent the anti-fracking side and set out Sinn Féin’s opposition to this environmentally hazardous procedure."

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