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Carthy outlines how new trade deal could make Fracking more likely in rural Ireland

20 February, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking today at a conference organised by Sinn Féin on the issue of Fracking, held in Co Fermanagh, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy outlined how the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could limit the power of the Governments of member states within the EU to ban Fracking.

The trade deal, which is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU allows investors and private companies sue the Government for potential loss of revenue.

Carthy said:

“Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as Fracking, has the potential to cause serious environmental pollution and damage to fish stocks and livestock.

“It also poses a very real threat to the success of our farming industry, the tourism industry and the health and safety of rural communities. Fracking is widely opposed by those living in rural areas.

“At the moment, there is a moratorium on Fracking in place in Ireland, subject to the completion of a scientific survey by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“A similar moratorium in place in Canada is currently the subject of a law suit worth $250 million taken by private investors to protect against potential profit loss.

“The case is being taken under an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which allows private companies sue the state outside of the normal court system in tribunals, which are usually investor biased. To date Canada has paid out over $170 million in ISDS settlements.

“The EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated contains a similar ISDS provision and will allow private investors take legal action against the Irish Government for potential loss of revenue.

“ISDS is widely opposed across Europe – 97% of respondents to the largest ever online consultation held by the European Commission stated their opposition to the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP.

“Despite this, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton signed a letter supporting ISDS without recourse to the Oireachtas and in the absence of the completion of the study by Copenhagan Economics on the impact of TTIP on Ireland.

"I am calling on the Irish Government to make a firm commitment that it will not sign any trade deal which places the rights of private investors and corporations ahead of those of Irish people and their communities."

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