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Letters sent to politicians visit also: Contact/Letters-answers politicians

Politicians avoiding tough questions on fracking issue
While the shale gas mantra focuses on jobs, cheap energy and recovery, the evidence contradicts these claims
and full article in FMN 120


Fracking is affecting the housing market


and Becky sent the following letter:  (August 2013)

Dear Real Estate Agent,

As you may be aware, Enegi Oil Plc has been awarded a licensing option for the potential future ‘fracking’ for gas in 495 square kilometres of West Clare from Quilty to Kilmihil, Kilrush, Loophead, Doonbeg and everywhere inbetween.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping large volumes of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure to fracture the rock and release oil or gas.

This industry has been linked to water, air and land contamination resulting in devastating human and animal health and economic impacts to the communities affected (e.g.in the USA and Australia).

The article below, outlines the huge impact from fracking on the housing market in Pennsylvania, USA. People are being refused mortgages, are unable to sell their houses or get house insurance in fracked areas.


To find out more about what is happening in Ireland with regard to fracking and how this could affect your business please see www.frackingfreeireland.org, Shale Gas Bulletin http://sites.google.com/shalegasbulletinireland or contact Fracking Free Clare on clarefrack@gmail.com.


Becky Fowler,
Fracking Free Clare

Meps puting the breaks - Geraldine

Article from Geraldine, Fracking Free Brussels

fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland - sian cowman article

fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland  2- sian cowman article

fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland 3 - sian cowman article

Inshore Ireland Vol 9 nr 3 2013

LETTER TO FERGUS O’DOWD – landscape is ok after fracking
Dear Minister O’Dowd,
I hear you recently visited an area of the United States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place and you said: ‘Hydraulic fracturing is not an industrial wasteland. I have been to the United States and looked at a site after hydraulic fracturing had taken place and it looks like any normal rural landscape.”
I would like to cordially invite you to take another look at some fracking sites. I don’t believe they look like ‘normal rural landscapes’.

Firstly, you can see the aerial view of fracking in Colorado from the attached pic.

And secondly – Yuri Gorby, a chaired professor at an engineering school in upstate New York, has invited you to take a tour of West Virginia’s fracking sites where both young and old are suffering from various health effects from neurological disorders to nosebleeds brought on by fracking.

Yuri has worked for over 15 years as a scientist with the US Department of Energy investigating the biogeochemical reactions that control the fate and transport of heavy metals and radionuclides in groundwater, and is well connected with prominent scientists and medical professionals throughout the world.

His full profile can be viewed here: http://faculty.rpi.edu/node/117
I hope you will take advantage of this offer.
Also, even if the view of fracked farmland from certain vantage points, may sometimes look somewhat ‘normal’, there are many invisible effects, such as chemical contamination of groundwater and air. These result in effects in livestock, such as this study which ‘compiled 24 case studies of farmers in six shale-gas states whose livestock experienced neurological, reproductive, and acute gastrointestinal problems after being exposed—either accidentally or incidentally—to fracking chemicals in the water or air. The article, published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, describes how scores of animals died over the course of several years.’
Remember what happened with the dioxin scare? What if Ireland’s reputation for clean food was tarnished by contamination from fracking chemicals? Food exports could drop overnight.

Kind regards,

Aerial view of the Roan Plateau in western Colorado, taken on April 17, 2007
Aerial view of the Roan Plateau in western Colorado, taken on April 17, 2007


letter: fanning_article_1

Background info:

This article (link
) appeared in the Irish Independent online on 14th July 2013
and is written by Oisin Fanning, CEO of our own Irish Frackers – San
Leon Energy.  San Leon have got fracking licences in Poland, and ex
minister Conor Lenihan works for them. Probably more importantly from
a national perspective they also have oil and gas interests in Western
Sahara where they may be in breach of UN resolutions.
The article while identifying Mr Fanning as CEO of San Leon, does not
identify San Leon’s financial interests in fracking in Poland, nor
their ongoing interest in the Barryroe Oilfield which is also
mentioned in the article which is a breach of the press ombudsman’s code.

The article itself contains many errors and indeed potentially
libelous comments. Emails to info@independent.ie,
finance@independent.ie and the press ombudsman info@pressombudsman.ie
are encouraged by those who wish to complain. One such letter of
complaint is available here: fanning_article_1

It may be an idea to reference the press ombudsman code of conduct
available here http://www.pressombudsman.ie/code-of-practice.150.html
when making complaints. One has 3 months from date of publication to
make a complaint.

As regards San Leon themselves, given their involvement in Western
Sahara, I believe it is incumbent on us to point this out, and get the
Department of Foreign affairs involved. A google search on San Leon
Western Sahara brings up some information. We may stop fracking in
Ireland, but what good is that, if it merely moves to another place,
where others do not have the ability to speak for themselves.
There may be further news on this in other newsletters.

Tom White.


The shale gas revolution is here –

On a recent trip to Ireland, which reportedly has large shale gas reserves but also has some of the most picturesque countryside in the world, fracking is a divisive subject. Ireland could definitely do with the financial benefit that an on-shore energy industry would provide, it would create plentiful, long term jobs and benefits to the wider community, and it could help Ireland’s balance of payments. Although Ireland has a current account surplus, nearly all of the money that is brought into the country through tourism is spent on importing energy from elsewhere. If it didn’t have to spend the money on importing energy then Ireland could have an even larger capital buffer. Financial security is a hot topic in Ireland, especially after the country needed to be bailed out by the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank in 2010. (…)

A campaigner did comment:

Your view that Ireland would have “large shale gas reserves” is a hoax. It’s pure industry propaganda far away from any reality. See these two articles:


COMMENTS ON BBC DOCUMENTARYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v02pX-lBp0g   by various campaigners.

Dear Iain,
After watching your show, “Fracking: The New Energy Rush”, I’m quite disappointed about the lack of information you are presenting in this one hour. Here just some brief comments:
The short term hype of shale gas development will very likely be followed by a bust again. Same happened within the financial bubble. Shale gas in the US might peak already in 2017.


Also see: Fracking – A Boom and Bust


For the length of this documentary I’m getting very few information. You have failed to present a deeper investigation. There are indeed more than a 1,300 people in the US who claim being harmed by fracking.


There is also scientific evidence that chemicals used in the fracking process, as well as chemicals coming up with the brine, are dangerous and cause immense health problems.



You also failed to report that millions of litres of water and vast amounts of sand are used to frack a single well. About half of that water comes up again as brine and is highly contaminated, not only with chemicals used by the gas companies, but also with toxic and radioactive compounds usually bound safely underground. There are only few facilities which can actually deal with such wastewater.


…You don’t even mention the impacts of shale gas on global climate change. The carbon footprint of shale gas is likely to be higher than just burning coal. The IEA is reporting that 2/3 of fossil fuel reserves have to stay underground to achieve the 2°C target.


I could go on and on here. All in all a very bare show. I would have expected far more details. The scientific evidence for the dangers of fracking is already there. A couple of hours of research in the internet would have brought you to a wider understanding of these risks. There is growing evidence that shale gas is just a bridge to nowhere.

I had an interesting conversation with Stewart via Twitter yesterday. https://twitter.com/Profiainstewart

He started coming out with all the studies industry usually does and discrediting or questioning ours.
I have watched the Fracking in Fermanagh documentary and shared it with Stewart, telling him kids could do a better job. Really excellent documentary.
Very disappointing and worrying that this is the view going into millions of homes around the UK from a respected presenter on a respected programme.

Not a single mention of climate change in the whole programme (although one brief mention that there were ‘questions’ as to whether we should be going after another carbon based fuel at all), and as a result no mention of the impact of fugitive emissions.

The only thing he really had a go at the industry for was secrecy re fracking ingredients, but assured viewers that that wouldn’t happen in the UK.

Far too much camera time spent on Iain Stewart driving around in or admiring expensive cars.
Letter sent by campaigners
Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to point out an error in the piece on shale gas published today
by Euractiv.

When referring to the EU public consultation, the journalist has
misinterpreted the results, stating that “over half of the respondents
were favourable to the development of shale gas in Europe.”

This statement is inaccurate as it interprets the total results rather
than the weighted response per population. Given the high number of
responses from one country, in this case Poland, the weighted response
is a much more accurate measure of public opinion. When you look at
the results of the weighted response (on slide 27) you will see that,
in fact, 64% of respondents stated that unconventional fossil fuels
should not be developed in Europe at all. Quite the opposite of what
the journalist has stated in the article.

The preliminary results of the consultation can be viewed here:

Please make this correction immediately before other publications make
the same inaccurate interpretation.

Kind regards,

CORRESPONDENCE– Cuadrilla Resources (fmn 107)

Answer from QUADRILLA  – to a campaigner
When Cuadrilla drills a well, it circulates a water based solution called ‘drilling mud’ as per the planning permission from West Sussex County Council. This has three main functions. First, to maintain hydrostatic pressure in the wellbore, which will prevent any possible influx of fluid to the surface such as oil, gas or water. Second, to stabilise and seal the walls of the borehole. Third, to cool and lubricate the bit assembly of the drill. This is common practice for all oil and gas drilling activities, as well as geothermal and mineral exploration.

Cuadrilla will disclose all drilling mud formulations to the Environment Agency as part of the environmental method statement for the work, and this method statement will be made available to the public. Drilling muds for drilling through the aquifer are carefully formulated to be non-hazardous to groundwater, even though at this location the aquifer is not used for groundwater extraction. After drilling through the aquifer it is sealed off by the steel casing cemented into the hole, allowing the well to progress deeper. The surface handling systems for drilling mud and drilled cuttings consist of tanks which are only above ground and no mud or cuttings are discharged at the well site into the local environment.

If a horizontal borehole is drilled it will be necessary to ensure its walls are clean. To do this a pipe will be run inside the well casing of the horizontal section and highly diluted hydrochloric acid will be used to remove any build-up of drill mud in order to expose a clean rock face to the well bore. The hydrochloric acid will be diluted to a maximum concentration of 10%, a level that is non-hazardous to the environment.

I hope that helps answer your queries.
Kind regards,

Lindsay McCallum
For and on behalf of Cuadrilla Resources

REPLY  by the campaigner
Dear Ms Hoare,
I would like to respectfully point out that today’s Cuadrilla press release is not completely honest, by omission. Those of us who have done our research know that exploration drilling, both vertical and horizontal, requires various chemicals.
Now, I understand that it is a PR company’s job to minimize the possibly unpleasant actions of their clients. However, when a community’s human rights are at stake – their rights to clean water, a clean environment, and good health – I believe that it is incumbent upon us all the make sure we tell the truth. Especially as I understand the test well will be only 1km from a village.
It would be to your credit to tell the community exactly what kind of lubricants and other chemicals will be needed to test drill.



Letter sent to various newspapers –  Des Guckian

Dear Editor.

Famous film director Ken Loach’s decision to consider Co Leitrim as a possible location for his forthcoming film on the life and deportation of Gowel’s native son, Jimmy Gralton, should be welcomed by everyone. I’m especially happy that, whatever may happen, my 1986 book on the life of Jimmy Gralton, called Deported, will form the broad basis for the film script.
The filming crew would have to be based in Carrick-on-Shannon. There would be employment for many tradesmen and for many others. Co Leitrim has several top-class amateur drama groups whose abilities could be utilised. I’m sure there will be no shortage of extras available when required. The spin-offs are limitless.
If Co Leitrim, with its pristine environment and most dramatic scenery, can get established as a location for the shooting of many more films, on the back of Ken Loach’s interest, then the world will be our oyster. Shots of magnificent Sheemore Hill, seen on film, will have a much stronger impact throughout the world than Leitrim Tourism spending many millions of euro on promotion work.  I’m calling on the Co Development team and on a number of government departments to ensure that funding and facilities and a genuinely warm welcome will be given to Ken Loach and to his team.
There is a determined effort being made to soften us up for fracking. That would undoubtedly spell the end of tourism, farming, our environment and visitors wanting to come to our lovely County. The choice filming v fracking is a no-brainer. This is a pivotal moment in the history of Co Leitrim. Every person and organisation in Co Leitrim should, per our local media, send messages of welcome to Ken and crew. Ken’s decision is imminent, so we must all get working without delay.

Des Guckian, Dromod.

As a result of my  (Des Cuckian) representations to Leitrim Co Co,  Martin Dolan, Director of Services, Environment, Emergency & Cultural Services, has on 8 May ,  replied to me stating “We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to have the film made in Co Leitrim by such a famous filmmaker”.