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Kenny welcomes ban on fracking

31 May, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Martin Kenny, TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, said he was “a happy man today” to see the anti-fracking bill pass its final stage in the Dáil. The Bill put into law the banning of onshore fracking and Deputy Kenny said we must continue to work to ban any of this type of exploration offshore which needs more complex legislation.

Deputy Kenny said:

“The Bill to ban onshore fracking will pass to the Seanad now. It is a win for rural communities and for common sense.

“I am a happy man today to see this Bill progress because of the environmental implications of fracking and the damage it could do to communities, the landscape and the tourism and farming industries.

“However, this Bill 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 could have been challenged in the future.

“We understand that putting an amendment to ban offshore fracking at this point could endanger the current legislation and assist those who want to defeat it.  We realise to ban offshore fracking needs a larger piece of legislation and we will set about this, but we did not put this piece of legislation in jeopardy by pushing the amendment right now.

“We are committed to the aim of making the whole island fracking free. The people of Fermanagh will suffer the environmental implications of fracking the same as people in Sligo, Leitrim, Clare or Limerick.

“We need to be seeking an alternative to fossil fuels so that the island is self-sufficient and sustainable. We need to have a plan in place that sets us on a path to more environmentally sustainable way of life.”

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