Carthy calls on Minister White to suspend Fracking study
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Minister Alex White to suspend the study into the effects of Fracking after it has been confirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has contracted CDM Smith, a US pro-fracking consultancy, to administer the research work.
"In 2012,the Government confirmed that no decisions on granting exploration licences for Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) would be made until a comprehensive research study, coordinated by the EPA, was completed.
"Last year, the consortium tasked with carrying out the study was announced and Queens University Belfast was included. However, following a Freedom of Information request, it has been revealed that Queens University 'is not part of the consortium and is not involved with the Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction research project.'
"The research study has instead been contracted to a group led by CDM Smith, a US pro-Fracking consultancy providing services to the oil and gas industry. They are carrying out most of the work.
"Amec Foster Wheeler is the second major player in the study. Amec is a oil/gas industry consultant whose clients include BP, Shell, BR Petrobras, GDF Suez and ExxonMobil. It would appear that this study is being written by the industry for the industry.
"This study is not independent yet is intended to underpin government policy on Fracking. In fact, it is not examining whether Fracking should be permitted but rather at how Fracking can be rolled out. This revelations have reinforced the fears of those communities, including in my own constituency, that the state is intent on allowing the practice of Fracking to commence despite the obvious dangers to the environment, agriculture, public health and local tourism.
"The Minister needs to immediately suspend the study and direct the EPA to employ a real independent assessment of the impact of Fracking."