Ban fracking on the island of Ireland

Fracking Matters Newsletter 19-14(150)

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Frogs, Farmers or Frackers?!
To be a source of information about the invasion of fracking, in Ireland, in Europe,... all over the World!


It 's Time for Tamboran to Leave Ireland for Good - a 'food for thought' article by Polly, editor for Fracking Free Ireland. She investigated Tamborans' licences and  went to the Court Hearing.

All Tamboran info, licences and links to the referred articles/decisions:  here and on FFI facebook

In this newsletter  a new report: Drilling Deeper (the same author as Drill Baby Drill!!), the link between Fracking and TTIP, the positions of our MEPs and TD on TTIP, a review on (the screenings of) UNEARTHED and some KAROO background info/ latest news and thanks to Keep Ireland Fracking Free the latest Shale Gas Bulletins.

Enjoy.... but don't forget.... the threat of fracking is not gone and campaigners in the North are working around the clock to Lock the Gates and protect their coasts and glens!

Fracking Free Ireland.


Upcoming events - National

Screening Unearthed - UCC  Cork,  7 pm

 Geof f Cooper on  Fishtalk live - Thursday

Last year I made several films for the UK based film company, MF TV
which are available from Anglers World Holidays who are based in
Chesterfield. Currently I am working with Cedar Tree Digital Media
making six films around Ireland visiting places of interest and fishing
as I go.
          I was recently approached by fishtalklive and asked to be a
regular contributor to their weekly show. I was only too pleased to
oblige and my first appearance on the show goes out this coming
Thursday. All you need to do is go to   
Hope you all enjoy the show.

1 november - March all over Ireland, right2 water

Take this opportunity to raise awareness re. fracking as we did in Dublin and collect signatures for the self organised European Citizens Initiative. Form can be downloaded here:

Campaign news - National

CONGRATULATIONS:  signed TTIP figures went up last week  from 500 to 2654! 

But…. we are not there yet…
we have reached  32,17% of our guorum of 8250.    Still 5596 to go
Offline (hard copy signatures) Collected in Dublin: 22, Carrick-on-Shannon 15 (during screening of Unearthed). Please collect only offline signatures from people who didn’t sign online!

Sign online or download the form – collect signatures – and return to Fracking Free Ireland (addres on the form!)

Country_count_20141024 Compare Ireland to other EU countries


Press release: Protect Our North Coast (PONC) public meeting votes for a ban on fracking and demands meeting with Stormont Committee.

Protect our Coast and Glens

PROTECT OUR NORTH COAST: PRESS RELEASEView this email in your browserFor Immediate ReleaseDate: 18th October 2014

Press release: Protect Our North Coast (PONC) public meeting votes for a ban on fracking and demands meeting with Stormont Committee.

Campaigners lobbying to protect the North Coast from fracking held a public meeting in Portballintrae last Thursday night.At a packed meeting people from across the North Coast from Ballycastle to Limavady voted overwhelmingly to stop exploratory drilling and fracking in the area or anywhere in Northern Ireland.Melanie Brown, a former policy adviser and researcher for the New Zealand government and resident of Ballycastle, presented a detailed analysis of the dangers of fracking on the North Coast.

Read more.

Last screening in Ireland followed by Q&A with Jolynn MinnaarTONIGHT in Cork - at 7.00 on Tuesday 28th October in Kane G01, UCC.

 Suzanne Cooper reviews South African documentary Unearthed from the 8×8 Festival and talks about how the film changed her perspective on fracking.

There was a good turnout during all the screenings. Jolynn Minnaar, thank you so much for making this film.

A full house in Cleenish Parish Hall, Bellanaleck, Co.Fermanagh (image left)  and a good turn out in Sligo town. (image above)

Upcoming events - International

Please find below ( the english translation of the call from the D19-20 Alliance in Belgium and the Solidaires trade union in France to mobilise in Brussels on 19th December 2014 against free trade (TTIP/CETA/TISA) and ongoing austerity.
Please spread it within your networks, and if your group would like to sign the call - or think you may be able to be in Brussels on the 19th - send an email

THE TRANSATLANTIC TREATY: more austerity, less democracy



Against austerity at every level

 Everyone on the streets of Brussels during the European Council Summit,

Friday 19 December 2014!

 Our national and European leaders continue to subject the people to the will of shareholders and multinationals while austerity becomes increasingly brutal. Most national austerity programmes are implementing EU recommendations according to the Stability and Growth Pact that our states have already signed-off. The measures are sending us into a recessionary spiral, imposing social regression at magnitude. The secret free trade negotiations also reflect their desire to uphold the interests of multinationals and their profit logic at the expense of a social, ecological and democratic Europe.

 We call on all organisations and individuals to make December 19, 2014 a day of action and convergence of struggles. Take to the streets to remind our leaders that the public interest is not that of multinationals and lobbyists, and that democracy does not work without us. Only a truly social and democratic Europe will meet the basic social needs of the population and ensure a prosperous future for everyone within the limits of nature. It is high time to stop these butchers’ summits!

 Occupy the streets of Brussels on Friday, December 19. The D19-20 Alliance will be there. We call on all movements, organisations, platforms and groups to do the same, in order to build as large an action as possible!

 Their profits are the appropriation of our labour! We are the real Europe;

 For an education, a job, food, public services, a decent environment; stop the TTIP!

 Against the budget cuts; we refuse to pay for their banking crisis!

 Call signed by Alliance D19-20 (BE), Trade Union Solidaires (FR). ...

More information on the website:

Take Action

STOP TTIP - email Juncker

Great news. It looks like the EU is wavering on TTIP - the dodgy EU-US trade deal. Jean-Claude Juncker, who’s due to start a new job as the new EU Commission President, is hinting that ISDS could be removed. That's the bit of the deal that allows corporations like McDonald's or Marlboro to sue our government. [1]

This is one of the worst parts of TTIP - getting rid of it could help us see off the whole deal. But there’s a problem: our government is lobbying to keep it in. [2]

Right now, we need to show that the UK government isn’t speaking for us, the people of the UK. Thousands of us have already written to the EU to tell them that ISDS should be dropped. And it looks like it’s finally sinking in - so let’s not let our government undo our hard work.

If enough of us email Juncker directly, we can make sure we're impossible to ignore. He won’t be used to this many ordinary people getting in touch! Can you email him today?

The deal was locked behind closed doors - only politicians and big businesses were supposed to hear about it. Together, we’ve changed that. We’ve signed petitions, we’ve spread the word about TTIP in our communities and we’ve put it firmly on the agenda of our MEPs. [3] And it's paying off.

As the new EU Commission President comes into office, we can show him that he can stop hinting - we’ll support him removing ISDS from the deal. If we flood his inbox now, he’ll be left in no doubt that the idea of McDonald's or Marlboro suing our government is a no go area.

Please can you email Jean Claude Juncker right now? There’s already some suggested words, so it’ll only take a minute or two:

Thanks for being involved,
India, Nat, Blanche & the 38 Degrees team

STOP TTIP - collect signatures, don't make it easy for the frackers

Sign online or download the form – collect signatures – and return to Fracking Free Ireland (addres on the form!)

Did you know that... know your politicians

1, OUR FRACK FREE   (Ban fracking - No to TIIP ) MEPS are:

• Matt Carthy – GUE/NGL  (SF)

• Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan GUE/NGL (IND)

• Nessa Childers S&D (IND) –

• Liadh Ni Riada GUE/NGL (SF)-

• Martina Anderson GUE/NGL  (SF)-
here all the candidates who signed the declaration:

Marian Harkin signed the declaration but cannot (yet) be fully opposed to TTIP
Here is her latest newsletter :

Some correspondence/reply   re the question to exempt CETA from ISDS

Marian Harkin
(17 October)

Thank you for your email and I have raised your concerns over CETA with Marian and she is aware of the seriousness of this trade agreement. However, Marian has not had the time to respond to this and other emails in the detail that they require but she will send out a proper detailed response in the coming weeks. For now however, please see Marian's speech in the Parliament on this trade  agreement and the ISDS clause:

Thank you and kind regards,
Peter McGuigan, Office of Marian Harkin MEP

Bian Crowly (16 september 2014)
Automatic reply: Please: exempt ISDS from CETA
As I am currently undergoing medical treatment in Ireland I will not be in Brussels for a few weeks. In case of urgency please contact my Cork Office, email: ; tel: 00353214896433.

NOTE: Brian's health seems not great. Every summer when FFI write letters, we get the same answer.

2. All our Frack Free MEPs (accept Luke Ming Flanagan, who wasn.t present voted against the new EU Commissioners.


Where was Luke Ming Flanagan??

Commission for Corporations #TeamJunckerEU and oil baron #Cañete approved by MEPs (423-209-67) at today's European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg

Irish and Northern Irish Frack Free MEPs who voted against were
Martina Anderson (SF - GUE/NGL); Matt Carthy (SF - GUE/NGL); Nessa Childers (Ind. - S&D) and Liadh Ni Riada (SF - GUE/NGL).
Lynn Boylan (SF - GUE/NGL) also voted against but she is not an official Frack Free MEP.
Frack Free MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (Ind - GUE/NGL) was absent for the vote.
All four Fine Gael MEPs voted in favour of the Commission for Corporations.
GUE/NGL and Greens/EFA were the only two political groups who voted overwhelmingly against the new Commission.

Here is the link to the roll call vote:

3. Luke Ming Flanagan - Frack Free MEP didn't play the Fracking Risk Game at the Global Frack Down day and didn't attend the important voting re. the new EU Commisionners.. (Junckers team)

 4. Richard Bruton TD signed a letter to  keep ISDS in TTIP

Thoughts - Opinion - Q & A



Tamboran tries to sue the Ministers/Government for losses of profit due to the refusal to extend the licence.
Court hearing: “An expired licence to carry out exploratory shale gas drilling in Co Fermanagh cannot be reinstated through a legal challenge, the High Court heard today”
(So Tamboran go Home, see article from Polly)


A company can sue the government for lost profits.
So, if the TTIP is going ahead (see the list of our Frack Free/No to TTIP MEPs) then Tamboran has the right to sue, and it is the taxpayer who has to pay the bill.



The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (also called TAFTA – Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement) is being negotiated between the US and the EU since July 2013


The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement has already been negotiated between the EU and Canada and is now being finalised


The Trade in Services Agreement is now under negotiation among 50 countries including the EU


No Fracking Way - How the EU - US trade agreement (TTIP) risks expanding fracking 6 March 2014 This briefing reveals how a major trade deal currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, threatens the power of governments to protect communities, citizens and the environment from risky new technologies such as fracking. It calls on the EU and the US to exclude investor-state …

Read more.

fact sheet trade unionists 2

TTIP - Fact sheet Trade Unionists

What-Irish-Trade-Trade-Unionists-Need-To-Know-About-TTIP (pdf)

Read more.

TTIP - debate in Brussels with a. o. Friends of the Earth

Published on 17 Apr 2014
Transnational Institute, together with Friends of the Earth and the Seattle to Brussels Network, plus representatives of the European Parliament and Commission, consumers and citizen groups from both sides of the Atlantic, shared perspectives on the likely impacts of a deal on our environment.

Read more.


TTIP - ISDS in hands of Frans Timmermans....

'I have asked Frans Timmermans, in his role as First Vice-President in charge of the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to advise me on the matter. There will be no investor-to-state dispute clause in TTIP if Frans does not agree with it too.'

Read more.

ttip - history
juncker 3

Member states warn Juncker against ISDS concessions

Members states warn Juncker against ISDS concessions

As Juncker gives reassurances to the European Parliament over free trade with the US, 14 member states are urging him to stick to the script.

by Dave Keating on 22.10.2014 / 22:48 CET

Read more.

Political news - EU 

Strengthening REACH Provisions Concerning (Imported) Articles

Policy workshop
One of the main objectives of the European chemicals Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) is to ensure “a high level of protection of human health and the environment”. Reviewing the seven years which REACH is in force, there are indications that the REACH provisions concerning substances in articles fall short of this target. Against this backdrop the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) has commissioned a research project “Strengthening the Provisions Concerning (Imported) Articles in the REACH Regulation” which is carried out by the Society for Institutional Analysis - sofia together with Oeko Institute. The goal of the project is to investigate how modifications of the REACH Regulation can contribute to a better protection of human health and the environment against impacts caused by substances of very high concern (SVHC) in articles.
The project includes a legal appraisal analysing the WTO conformity of an extension of the REACH provisions concerning authorisation of SVHC to those substances present in articles imported from countries outside the EEA. Additionally, the project focuses on the utility and feasibility of certain possibilities to improve information and communication on articles containing SVHC.
On 9 October 2014 the findings of the resarch project have been discussed with representatives from the European Commission, Industry, NGO, Science and ECHA at a policy workshop at Université Saint-Louis in Brussels.
Click here to get to the presentation slides.

Political news - Ireland

Tamboran 1

Tamboran in Court - latest news: High Court: no legal challenge

Tamboran in court list for Friday = today 9.30 a.m.
Campaigners and a reporter from Fracking Free Ireland will be in the HIGH COURT in Belfast today and they got permission to take notes.
Tamboran will sue Ministers Mark Durkan (rejected exploration under permitted developments rights) and Arlene Foster for not extending the exploration licence

(see below)

News just in...Detailed arguments are expected to be made when the case reaches a full hearing. The judge listed the case for a further mention next month.

An expired licence to carry out exploratory shale gas drilling in Co Fermanagh cannot be reinstated through a legal challenge, the High Court heard today. Counsel for Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster claimed action being taken against the termination of the permit could not succeed. An Australian-based mining company that planned to conduct investigations at a former quarry site in Belcoo is seeking to judicially review her decision not to grant an extension. Tamboran has also issued proceedings against Environment Minister Mark H Durkan’s determination that it must apply for full planning permission to carry out test drilling. Protests were staged at the site amid fears the controversial ‘fracking’ technique would be used if large reserves of gas were found. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Tamboran had planned to drill a 750m deep borehole to establish whether any such process would be commercially viable. Anti-fracking campaigners have expressed fears that this could be the first step towards establishing an industry which may damage the environment and the health of nearby residents. Under the terms of a petroleum licence granted in 2011 Tamboran had three years to either inform the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) on its decision to drill or drop its plans. Earlier this year the firm was given another six months to complete the first stage of work. But no further extension was granted when that deadline passed at the end of last month. Tamboran stated at the time that it had requested an extension of the deadline after informing DETI of its intention to take legal action Mr Durkan’s rejection of a request to drill a borehole at the site. The company said it has already invested more than £3 million. It also claimed the decision not to grant more time could close the door on a project that could deliver up to 50 years of secure energy supply, in excess of 2,000 jobs and billions of much-needed investment in the local economy. Its legal challenge to the two ministerial decisions was mentioned for the first time in the High Court today. During brief exchanges Tony McGleenan QC, for DETI, questioned the merits of the case against his client. He contended that the licence has expired and cannot be restored, even by the court.

Read more.


NEWS  around the WORLD

Issue 42 -

1. Tamboran's licence expires in Northern Ireland, extension refused

2. British farmers call for compensation for losses caused by fracking

3. Toxic air quality at Texas playgrounds near gas sites

Issue 41 -

1. Growing support for climate change action

2. Pennsylvania: 243 official cases of well contamination due to fracking

3. New studies highlight fracking health risks to residents and workers


Fracking Ban Ballot Initiatives Intensify

County ballot issues to ban fracking could have a large impact outside those counties. And the campaign money being spent on both sides—but primarily by big energy companies—shows how much is at stake.

The oilfields of Kern County, California, are already seeing a fracking boom. Nearby San Benito and Santa Barbara counties will vote on fracking bans in November. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Read more.


Global news

SOUTH AFRICA - background info: 2 articles, (2011 & 2012)

South Africa was one of the first countries with a moratorium on fracking. South Africa managed to get the KAROO on the global fracking map! The Dutch campaign group Schaliegasvrij Nederland did visit the Karoo and their campaigners, Jolynn Minnaar made a brilliant film (tonight screened in Sligo, tomorrow in Cork, don't miss) and farmers went to the US. You don't need a lot of money, just intrinsic motivation!

South Africa - latest news

‘SA Govt kicks on with Karoo shale gas permits

 David McKay | Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:04

 [] – SOUTH Africa has opened a new chapter in its shale gas aspirations for the Karoo saying it would process Challenger Energy's exploration licence application - one of a batch to be granted for the ecologically sensitive region.

Notice that the application would be processed had been communicated to Challenger's local subsidiary, Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration, by the Petroleum Agency SA (PASA), the Perth-based company said in a statement…..’

  ‘Pasa to process Karoo shale gas exploration application

 27th October 2014

 JOHANNESBURG ( – The Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) has advised unconventional gas explorer Challenger Energy’s Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration subsidiary that a decision has been taken to proceed with processing Bundu’s application for a shale gas exploration right in South Africa’s Karoo basin.

Challenger said on Monday that “significant” time had elapsed since the application was submitted in 2010, and it was important that the documentation was up to date.

Pasa has requested that Bundu review and augment its environmental management programme, where necessary, completing this process by February 27, 2015. …’

Mining Rights
As far as I know no company has so far received an exploration right in South Africa. The Shale Gas Handbook of Norton Rose Fullbright ( states on page 94, that Shell has lodged already in December 2010 three applications for exploration rights and that they were accepted by PASA on December 13, 2010 and December 14, 2011.
Bundu & Falcon have also lodged applications for exploration rights (in May 2010 & August 2010).

This means, that during all this time Shell, Bundu & Falcon must have had at least a technical co-operation permit. But - according to Mineral and Petroleum Development Act (MPRDA), Chapter 6, Article 77 (4) b), c) and d) - the technical co-operation permit is only valid for a period not exceeding one year, not tranferable and not renewable.

The question is now:
-If no company had been granted exploration rights so far and if - which is obvious - the technical co-operation permits are no longer valid, what rights do the companies hold at the moment?

The companies might not even possess valid technical co-operation permits at the moment or the South-African Government have to explain how they can still be valid if - according to the MPRDA - they are only valid for a period not exceeding one year, not tranferable and not renewable. Would you please try to check on these legal matters?

Reports - Research

Over the short term, U.S. production of both shale gas and tight oil is projected to be robust but a thorough review of production data from the major plays indicates that this will not be sustainable in the long term. These findings have clear implications for medium and long term supply, and hence current domestic and foreign policy discussions, which generally assume decades of U.S. oil and gas abundance

drilling deeper

Report - Drilling deeper + review

Report Drilling deeper:
Review: Drilling deeper, new report- review

Friends of the Earth Europe reports:
A new report from David Hughes, the author of Drill Baby Drill, was released today by the Post Carbon Institute. For you people interested in understanding how the industry and federal US agencies are contributing to the hype around the alleged economic and energy benefits of UFF, this is an important update that David is making today. I can only strongly recommend the reading.

Read more.


Exposed and in the dark about fracking chemicals in Europe

viernes, 24 de octubre de 2014

Exposed and in the dark about fracking chemicals in Europe

The institutions of the European Union do not know what chemical substances are currently being utilized in the hydraulic fracturing process within EU territory. Worse still, they openly admit it is impossible to carry out an adequate risk characterization up to date, because exposure models for such a risk assessment do not exist yet. The plan announced by the Commission to repair this situation looks insufficient.

Read more.


Fracking Waste Water

Concerns that fluids from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," are contaminating drinking water abound. Now, scientists are bringing to light another angle that adds to the controversy. A new study, appearing in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, has found that discharge of fracking wastewaters to rivers, even after passage through wastewater treatment plants, could be putting the drinking …

Read more.

A new NRDC report finds oil and gas wells as outsized threat to communities of color. Image credit: NRDC

Fracking Threatens Millions of Californians

Fracking Threatens Millions of Californians

| October 22, 2014 5:29 pm | Comments

A new report shows that 5.4 million Californians—more than 14 percent of its 38.3 million population—live within a mile of an oil or gas well, and almost four million of those, or nearly 70 percent, are Hispanic, Asian or African-American, according to a new Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report Drilling in California: Who’s at Risk? Non-whites make up slightly more than 40 percent of California’s total population.

Read more.


How Fracking Just Got Worse for Your Health

How Fracking Just Got Worse for Your Health

Jennifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council | October 6, 2014 1:42 pm

• 1-bromopropane used as a cleaning solvent and in spray adhesives;

• Pentachlorophenol, a complex mixture used as a wood preservative to treat utility poles;

• Ortho-Toluidine, used to make rubber chemicals, pesticides, dyes, and some consumer products;

• Cumene, found in fuel products and tobacco smoke.

Cumene is classified as “reasonably anticipated” to cause cancer. It’s also on the congressional list of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for oil and gas. It’s been listed as a Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1990, so it’s been known to be bad for health for a long time.

We need more than disclosure of chemical identities. We also need chemicals to be hazard-tested before they are marketed, before they are allowed into commercial products, and before they are allowed to be used in industrial processes where workers and communities can be exposed.

Read more.


Don't sit on the fence, get involved!

Contact your local group