Attempts to get the Government to ban fracking look set to pass their first hurdle, it has emerged.
Legislation put forward by Fine Gael backbench TD Tony McLoughlin was due to be put on hold for at least eight months to allow for an independent report on the controversial gas extraction to be completed.
But the proposal may progress more quickly after Fianna Fáil refused to support the delay.
On the 26th of March 2010, the Fianna Fail / Green governing coalition announced that they were inviting applications for ‘Onshore Licensing Options over the Northwest Carboniferous Basin and the Clare Basin.’ The senior minister in the department at the time was Green Party TD, Eamon Ryan. Conor Lenihan (Fianna Fail) was the department’s junior minister.
On the day this invitation to the oil and gas industry was announced Conor Lenihan stated that “over recent months there has been renewed interest in targeting the natural gas resource potential of the two basins, which had been identified in earlier exploration. Finding and producing our indigenous natural gas resources is critical to enhancing Ireland’s security of energy supply and reducing our reliance on imported fuels”.