Dáil debates

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Development of a Liquefied Natural Gas Facility in Ireland: Statements


1:50 pm

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity) | Oireachtas source

Methane emissions from the drilling for fracked gas in the US are responsible for one third of the total recent increase in methane emissions worldwide. Methane is second only to carbon in terms of endangering the climate. It is even more dangerous than coal.

Last week, the Taoiseach presented himself as a champion of the environment when he addressed the United Nations in New York but the Irish State will tomorrow support Shannon LNG as a project of common interest at a key EU meeting. Shannon LNG will be, without question or doubt, importing fracked gas from Pennsylvania. How hypocritical is it possible for the Minister and Government to be? If it becomes a project of common interest, Shannon LNG will be eligible for fast-track planning permission and public funding. If the Government gets its way tomorrow, it opens up the door for liquefied natural gas, LNG, projects in Ireland using fracked gas form the US, not just in Shannon.

This development must be opposed by all who care about our environment. Shannon LNG should be taken off that list for approval at tomorrow's meeting.

People in Cork have a particular interest in this issue. The privatised Port of Cork has signed a memorandum of understanding with a US company to explore the question of importation of LNG from the US to Cork. This LNG would also include fracked gas, without a question or doubt. That fracked gas would come from the Rio Grande project in south Texas, near the Mexican border, which could be operational by 2023.

Ireland has its own energy sovereignty. The issue here is, do we want fracked gas to be let into our Irish energy mix? We say the answer is that we cannot and that this proposal must be withdrawn now.


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