Lynn Boylan MEP applauds Sligo decision to retain fracking ban
Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed Sligo County Council’s decision, despite political pressure, to retain its ban on fracking in the new county development plan.
The councillors on Thursday refused to bow to a recommendation from council chief executive Ciaran Hayes that the prohibition on fracking, agreed in June 2016, should be excised from a new county development plan.
Lynn Boylan said:
“I applaud the decision of Sligo County Councillors to maintain their opposition to fracking in the Draft County Development Plan 2017-2023. This process of extracting shale gas by pumping millions of litres of fracking fluid — i.e. water mixed with sand — into a well in order to create cracks in shale formations, is highly polluting. A wide range of toxic chemical additives (1-2% of the total volume) is added to this fracking fluid to ease the operation of the well for the oil or gas company.
“In a State where water has been a major bone of contention for some years now, it is worth noting that fracking wastes and pollutes enormous volumes of water.
“Ireland this year became the first State in the world to divest its sovereign wealth fund of fossil fuel holdings. The Dáil has already voted to support a private members bill to ban fracking, a measure that is now before a select committee.
“When it becomes law, the Bill will prohibit the extraction of oil and gas from areas where it would need to be fracked to be taken out of the ground such as the shale deposits across Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.
“In the North, we have also managed to keep the fracking lobby at bay. What Ireland requires is a future powered by clean, renewable energy, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels. We cannot allow any backsliding on the progressive decisions made by our elected representatives in the last six months.
“To emphasise the dangers posed by fracking, on Tuesday 13 June I will be hosting a briefing for Oireachtas members in Leinster House from Food and Water Watch US on the disastrous environmental impact of fracking in the United States.”