The fracking ban bill was discussed in the Irish Seanad (read transcription below)
Cross-party support guaranteed and the need for a ban in Northern Ireland was raised.
David Norris raised questions regarding the wording
:” There are a number of aspects of the Bill that are difficult.
- The definition of “hydraulic fracturing” is narrow and weak. It allows for the possibility of the fracking industry developing new techniques that are not covered by this legislation.
- The definition of “internal waters” is inadequate. It does not cover service water or groundwater. There is a proposed sanction of a six month prison sentence for offenders, but where is the policing mechanism? There is no policing mechanism at all, which is also worrying.
- There is an absence of a definition of “land”. There is a very comprehensive definition of land in the EU habitats directive. Why could this not have been put into the legislation? Internal waters are listed but it does not specify groundwater at all. This is also worrying. Many people have lobbied me on this matter and they have raised these concerns. It is important we get the ban on fracking because without it, these operations will continue in places such as Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Clare and other parts of Ireland. We must be very careful.
- Climate change was mentioned.”
Sinn Féin Senator clearly for expansion of ban on offshore fracking at a later stage:
Green Party Senator raised climate change problem, asked for a clear Irish path towards 100% Clean Energy Ireland and said that a LNG terminal at Shannon – which aims at importing US fracked hydrocarbons – cannot be supported.
We now look forward to the next steps in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Next Tuesday the Committee Stage in the Seanad will follow.
Hope was expressed that bill could be signed before summer break.