Despite having previously opted for a moratorium on fracking, Fermanagh District Councillors will tonight (9/1/2014) decide whether it is logistically and financially possible to hold a local referendum, which could cost £30,000.
Meanwhile a protest is on-going
The noise you hear in the video is to demonstrate what the protesters believe fracking will sound like.
Barry Doherty says “it would provide an opportunity for the people of Fermanagh to have their voice heard on the controversial drilling method”.
Cousin to Tom Elliott, current Fermanagh-South Tyrone MLA,
Past County Grand Master of the Orange Order, Assistant Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Ireland and Member of the Royal Black Preceptory, is former RUC officer TUV politician Alex Elliott
He would “embrace” fracking in their hometown of Ballinamallard. “I would embrace it and say: ‘Yes, it has to be done”
What is fracking?
Fracking,(hydraulic fracturing) allows cheaper drilling for gas and oil. Fluid is drilled and injected into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release the natural gas inside.Here’s a great visual site that illustrates the process.
There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water.
Some other concerns:
* Unknown chemicals:Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins. Many more are unknown, because manufacturers consider their composition to be proprietary information or a trade secret.
*Harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) from evaporating waste fluid in open air pits create contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone
*Methane leakage:Wellheads have leaked gases including methane, a greenhouse gas dozens of times more potent than carbon dioxide.
*Earthquakes have been attributed to fracking,
March 2012: US Physicians for Social Responsibility adopted a position on fracking:
“PSR supports a precautionary approach that includes a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing until such time as impartial federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency develop and implement enforceable rules that provide adequate protection for human health and the environment from fossil fuel extraction processes that use hy draulic fracturing “
Here is series of essays on the subject by these doctors
doesn’t worry about the potential health impacts of fracking on his adult children or his grandchildren, stating: “The environment is there to be protected but it’s also there to be used for the benefits of the people. If that means drilling for gas, go for it.”
Fracking is “for the greater good of the county; it’s for the greater good of the country; it’s great for the UK full-stop”
Australian Fracking CompanyTamboran
said that “the proposed €7bn gas exploration project for Ireland could create 600 full time jobs, up to 2,400 indirect jobs and deliver substantial natural gas energy volumes for the next 40-50 years“.
Fermanagh land owners are alleged to have offered their fields and countryside to Tamboran.Local businesses have also sought to forge links with Tamboran in the hope of accessing shale gas.
Tamboran plans to build 60 six-acre frack pads in Fermanagh, spaced two-three kilometres apart, with between 12-20 well pads on each site around Big Dog Mountain and Lough Formal, in the hills between border villages Garrison and Belcoo and Derrygonnely near Lower Lough Erne,
Comment:How might that impact on the neighbouring counties in the Republic of Ireland?
What’s the UK position?
Shale gas has the potential to provide the UK with greater energy security, growth and jobs. The UK government is encouraging safe and environmentally sound exploration to determine this potential. In 2012, the Royal Society concluded that “the health, safety and environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (often termed ‘fracking’) as a means to extract shale gas can be managed effectively in the UK as long as operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation.”
What about Northern Ireland?
7 December 2011: Northern Ireland’s Assembly
voted for a moratorium on “fracking” pending an environmental assessment. The Minster has still failed to enact the moratorium.
What is the Irish position?
May 12, 2012: Minister For Energy Pat Rabbitte has reiterated that no hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for gas would take place in Ireland pending further “detailed scientific analysis and advice”.
Roscommon County Council unanimously support a BAN on fracking
Leitrim County Council voted for a moratorium on fracking
Clare County Council unanimously support a BAN on fracking and unanimously voted to amend the county development plan
Donegal and Sligo: BAN on fracking
16-01-2012: Sligo Borough Council supports the proposal from Clare County Council and Sligo County Council calling on the Government and the Minister for Communications, Energy and natural Resources to BAN the practice of fracking/hydraulic fracturing.
Fermanagh District Council have also voted for a moratorium on fracking.
Comment:How is the difference in UK-Irish fracking policy going to be reconciled along the Fermanagh partition line?