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Banning fracking a victory for communities and common-sense – Stanley

31 May, 2017 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for the Environment Brain Stanley TD has welcomed the banning of onshore fracking but said we must continue to work to ban any of this type of exploration offshore which needs more complex legislation to ensure it is not challenged.

The Laois TD said:

“I spoke today in favour of the Bill to ban onshore fracking, which will now move to the Seanad. With the possible environmental implications for fracking on various parts of this State, it is very welcome that this Bill progresses. This ban is a victory for the long term, considering the communities and the tourism of the areas that would be affected.

“However, this does not cater for offshore fracking which is possible under the present law. Though this technology is still at any early stage, with only one large scale operation in place off the coast of the US, this is something that is growing. There are question marks over the environmental implications of this form of offshore extraction but a one line amendment in the present legislation maybe challenged in the future.

“We understand placing a ban on offshore at this point could endanger the current legislation and feed any vested interests in its defeat.  To ensure an effective environmental protection regime, we realise to ban offshore fracking needs a larger piece of legislation.

“Further, we need to ensure that the whole island is fracking free, the people of Fermanagh will suffer the possible environmental implications of fracking in the same way as people in Sligo and Clare would have done.

“This debate also opens up the question of the States use of fossil fuels. We import the vast majority of our gas and import all of our oil. We need to be seeking an alternative so that the island is self-sufficient and sustainable. We need to have a plan in place that sets out going forward what our future use of fossil fuels will be.” 

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