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Open letter to Minister Pat Rabbitte concerning hydraulic gas fracturing ("fracking") in Ireland

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Monday January 23, 2012 23:50author by Charlie Williams Report this post to the editors

The following open letter concerning hydraulic gas fracturing in Ireland was recently sent to the Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources. Several other people have written to the minister and have received no reply.

This is an important issue because it concerns contaminating the land and water for the benefit of just a few over the rights and interests of many and protection of the environment.

Dear Minister Pat Rabbitte,

Unfortunately we had to read that you granted an onshore Licensing
Option for hydraulic gas fracturing to Tamboran Resources PTY Ltd over
parts of Cavan Leitrim and Sligo last year.

Hydraulic gas fracturing, known as "fracking" has not only a worse
carbon footprint than coal
<http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1215/1...ml>;,
it poses several severe risks to human health and environment. I will
cite a few of the overwhelming amount of expertise done on this subject:
TEDX <http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.introducti...hp>;
(The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc.) has found out that far more
than 500 different chemicals are used in the fracking procedure. Many of
them very toxic and carcinogenic. The "associated pollution has reached
the stage where it is contaminating essential life support systems -
water, air, and soil - and causing harm to the health of humans,
wildlife, domestic animals, and vegetation".

Many health professionals in the US have recently sent an open letter http://www.goldbergsegalla.com/sites/default/files/uplo... ;

to the Governor of the State of New York addressing long-term health
effects as a result of hydraulic fracturing (also => NY DEC Takes on
Fracking http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info%3Adoi/10.1289/e...-a513 and
Industry Issues: Putting the Heat on Gas http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1817691/).
But fracking is also causing earthquakes, up to level 4 on the Richter
Scale.

=> Fracking DID cause ELEVEN earthquakes in Ohio last year http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083681/Frackin...;=>; Ohio magnitude 4.0 earthquake linked to fracking http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/201...l=>; Fracking company blamed for earthquakes comes to the Home Counties http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/8999677/Frackin....html

(UK)
=> UK Fracking Firm Admits They Are Causing Earthquakes http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-07/europe/3...rsThe gas industry can no more deny that.

We also had to read that you announced that /Aberdeen/ University will
carry out an EIA for the EPA which in my view is unacceptable as
/Aberdeen/ University is showing a conflict of interest due to ties with
and sponsorship by the oil and gas industry (=> /Aberdeen/ website
<http://www.abdn.ac.uk/geology/research/>;, Students benefit from Shell
support http://www.abdn.ac.uk/%7Ewox004/release.php?id=410,
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/%7Ewox004/release.php?id=757 http://www.abdn.ac.uk/%7Ewox004/release.php?id=757).

The Councils of the involved counties, Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo,
Fermanagh, Clare and Donegal are all unanimously passing a motion to ban
fracking in their counties. I am questioning why you are seemingly
ignoring the will of the vast majority of the people there.

The study, Impacts of Shale Gas and Shale Oil Extraction http://europeecologie.eu/IMG/pdf/shale-gas-pe-464-425-f...l.pdf ,
featured by the EU Parliament comes to the following conclusion:

"Even an aggressive development of gas shales in Europe could only
contribute to the European gas supplies at one-digit percentage share at
best. It will not reverse the continuing trend of declining domestic
production and rising import dependency. Its influence on the European
greenhouse gas emissions will remain small if not negligible, or could
even be negative if other more promising projects are skipped due to
wrong incentives and signals."

Keeping all that in mind, the only decent consequence should be that
Ireland is following France and our government is deciding to _*ban
hydraulic fracturing in Ireland*_.

I hope you will listen to the science and to the people who will have to
face the consequences of such a risky technology which achieves a short
term profit for a few, but does not take account of the medium and
long-term consequences. Fracking is counter-productive in terms of
solutions for our future energy politics.

For the vital future of our country, I hope you will do everything in
your power to _*ban fracking in Ireland*_.

Kindest regards,

Charlie Williams
Carndonagh
Co. Donegal

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