Farmers join Environmentalists To Back Bill To Ban Fracking

As an Oireachtas Committee began hearings on a draft law to ban fracking, today the IFA is joining local groups, environmentalists, water specialists and student campaigners to call for the Bill to be passed without delay.  Hildegarde Naughton TD, the Chair of Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, received a petition from the groups, signed by over 7,000 members of the public.  The Prohibition of the Exploration and Extraction of Onshore Petroleum Bill 2016 was referred by to the Committee by the Dáil for consideration, in October, when the Government dropped at attempt to delay it.

Commenting, Kate Ruddock, Deputy Director of Friends of the Earth said:

“The Dáil gave all-party backing to this Bill to ban fracking, but we’re concerned that supporters of fracking may try to bog it down in endless discussions at Committee. As the Committee will hear, the evidence is in – fracking is bad for our water, our health and our climate, and the verdict of the public is in, it’s time to rule out fracking in Ireland for good.”

A Public Consultation regarding the proposed Bill to ban fracking and any unconventional fossil fuel extraction from Ireland is currently being undertaken by the Oireachtas Committee for Communication, Climate Action and the Environment.

At the briefing representatives from the Irish Farmers’ Association, The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, the Environmental Pillar, The Sustainable Water Network, Love Leitrim, Good Energies Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Fossil Free TCD and Leitrim Co Council  set out their support for this Bill to ban fracking. The Bill’s sponsor, Fine Gael assistant party chief whip, Tony McLoughlin TD, was also be in attendance.

Motivated by the significant risks to water, land, air, climate and public health, this broad civil society grouping are calling on the Oireachtas Committee to pass this Bill to the next stage and proceed with passing it into law without delay, and to forever stop the threat of fracking on Irish soil.

A public petition, currently with 7,000 signatures, was delivered to Chair of the Oireachtas Committee Hildegarde Naughton in advance of the briefing, calling for the Committee to pass the Bill without delay.

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