Northern Ireland – update on fracking

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sgb ni

Shale Gas  Bulletin no 36, 15th July 2014   –

Tamboran and Fermanagh

Background info re. moratorium and why is was not enacted: 

Moratorium wording: That this Assembly believes that a moratorium should be placed on the onshore and offshore exploration, development and production of shale gas by withdrawing licences for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), at least until the publication of a detailed environmental impact assessment into the practice; notes that hydraulic fracturing can put local water sources at risk of contamination; further notes that, amongst a variety of adverse environmental impacts, the process of fracking can cause serious well blowouts, which put both workers and local communities at risk; considers that the production of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with efforts to achieve carbon reduction targets; and urges the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to give greater support to the generation of energy from renewable sources instead.
Here, the reason for non-enactment was that Arlene Foster says there are no licences for fracking in NI and thus no need to “withdraw” such licences. Perhaps better to say:
“It is unacceptable that a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that was voted by a clear majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly was not enacted by the responsible minister, as this clearly shows the will of both the people and their elected representatives on the issue of UGEE, as the moratorium called for the immediate withdrawal of all licences for “fracking”, yet also clearly states that a moratorium should be placed and the ‘onshore and offshore EXPLORATION, development and production of shale gas’. This was passed by the Assembly and is the will of the people of NI. By not enacting this, the will of the people has been superseded in an undemocratic fashion. The fact that one of the key areas of concern lies in Fermanagh, where the council also voted for a moratorium, speaks again of the will of the people being over-ridden. This raises serious questions concerning the due democratic process in NI, as it would seem to be the case that democracy is not operating optimally in the case of UGEE/fracking in the region.”