Great News! New York State Bans Fracking

In spite of huge pressure from the oil and gas industry, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation has concluded that the health risks of fracking are too great, and it will not permit the development of fracking in the state.

This decision comes after the publication of a substantial report from the Department of Health, which concludes:  “Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State.”

In his statement, acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker said,“We cannot afford to make a mistake. The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.”

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Deborah Goldberg who represented the Town of Dryden, NY in its fracking ban case.  “This is truly a monumental day. Governor Andrew Cuomo has earned a place in history. Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking. I believe that future generations will point to this day and say ‘This is when the tide began to turn against the dirty, dangerous and destructive fossil fuel industry.’ This is a hard-fought victory that belongs to the brave people of New York who refused to give up, refused to give in.  Now all New Yorkers can enjoy the safety and peace of mind that the 80 New York communities that have banned fracking already have. We hope that this determined leadership Governor Cuomo has displayed will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: fracking is too dangerous and must not continue.”

Advertisements

Antrim – Northern Ireland’s fracking guinea-pig?

The industry is gearing up!
Background facts – Northern Ireland
  • Exploration in Northern Ireland is administered by the N.I. Dept. of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) who are advised by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland.  Any person who wants to explore for, drill for or extract oil or gas in Northern Ireland must hold a Petroleum Licence granted by DETI.

  • Four Exploration licences were granted by N.I. Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in 2011 to Tamboran (Fermanagh), Infrastrata plc (Larne Basin), Providence (Rathlin Island) and Rathlin Energy (Rathlin Basin).  (Rathlin Basin is the area encompassing Portstewart, Coleraine, Ballymoney and Ballycastle.)
  • A motion calling for a Moratorium on Fracking in Northern Ireland was passed by the Stormont Assembly in December 2012, however the Minister did not withdraw the Licences.  (Is the Northern Ireland Assembly actually a glorified Council with few powers?)
  • Recently (April 2013), a Licence was granted to CHx Ltd (An investment company associated with Aspect Energy LLC) for an extensive area around Lough Neagh.

Current Situation
WHAT CAN WE DO?
  1. Object to the planning application before 25th July!

For letter template, click HERE

Or go to http://notofracking.com/2013/07/10/object-to-the-rathlin-energy-planning-application-by-25th-july/.

  1. Email or write to DOE, to the MLAs, to Councillors, to newspapers.  Full list of contacts to be found on notofracking.com web page (above)

  2. Spread the word around and get hundreds of letters emailed or posted

This is the final week for objections, ACT NOW!

“We Deserve Better” all-Ireland Campaign

 ACTION IS NEEDED NOW
Stop Drilling and Fracking in Fermanagh! 
Email the First Minister and Deputy First Minister IMMEDIATELY.
The following text is suggested:

I call upon the Northern Ireland Executive to impose a suspension of the licensing process and all drilling or fracking associated with unconventional gas exploration in Northern Ireland in line with the Government of the Irish Republic, who are refusing to issue Exploration Licenses until the EPA all-Ireland Research Studies on the Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction are completed and considered.

Email it to:
Peter Robinson: peter.robinson@mla.niassembly.gov.uk
Martin McGuinness: martin.mcguinness@mla.niassembly.gov.uk

contaminated ground
FACTS
  • The new EPA-directed research study “The Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction (UGEE)” is a North-South initiative.  The Steering Committee includes representatives from the Geological Survey NI, DOE (Department of Environment) and DETI (Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment).  As well as representatives from Geological Survey of Ireland, Petroleum Affairs Division, Department of Energy and Dept. of Environment.
  • Over 1,300 submissions on the draft Terms of Reference for this study were received by the EPA; 600 of these came from Northern Ireland, showing the concern of the NI people.
  • In the Republic, the Minister for Energy, Pat Rabbitte, has confirmed that no Exploratory Licences, which allow drilling and fracking, will be issued until this study is completed and considered (probably 2015).  He has said many times that more research needs to be done to establish the safety of fracking, especially in relation to public health.
  • People in Northern Ireland are not being given the same protection!  DETI has issued an exploration licence for Fermanagh which incorporates a work programme, including drilling and fracking.  The Northern Ireland Government has refused to state that it will wait until the research is completed before allowing drilling and fracking.
  • Tamboran are planning to commence drilling in Fermanagh this year!
It is NOT OK to put the people of Northern Ireland at risk!
The people of Northern Ireland are entitled to the same protection as people in the South
The exploratory work programme must be stopped!

Email the Ministers!  Lets have 5,000 emails in their inboxes this week and show our strength!
And follow this up with emails to all other politicians!

[Press release] 2-year moratorium on exploration licences!

GNU licence, wikimedia commons Meredithw

GNU licence, wikimedia commons Meredithw

Minister Fergus O’Dowd has finally given in to pressure from those campaigning against shale gas exploration and announced an unofficial moratorium on exploration licences.
In a press release on 7th March, he confirmed that two companies, Tamboran and Enegi Oil, have applied for licences and that his Department would be evaluating those applications. However, “further consideration of the application will then be put on hold until after the finding of the new EPA research have been published”, he said. He also said that he does not propose ”to consider applications for exploration authorisation in respect of other onshore areas until the EPA research has concluded”.
This means that no Exploration Licences will be given out for at least two years as the EPA report is not due until 2015.
This is a great victory for the campaigners. Recently, Good Energies Alliance Ireland organised an intense letter-writing campaign to the Minister demanding that the Government gave a commitment that no further licences would be granted for fracking. Other campaigners also had a “Licence Not to Frack Leitrim” campaign and went to Leinster House to express their concerns. Local TDs, Senators and Councillors also put pressure on the Minister. Those actions have paid off.
Statement from GEAI
“We are delighted with this development. It shows the power of the campaign that through our efforts we were able to influence the Government to pull back from issuing Exploration Licences that would give the companies concerned rights to drill. We now have two years to bring our campaign to the wider population, to raise awareness that this is a national issue, not a local one and that the consequences of allowing this industry free rein in our country could be a national disaster. The campaign is not over by any means – this is only a temporary moratorium, our ultimate goal is achieving a total ban on fracking in Ireland and we will keep working until this happens.”

EU Parliament to start a public consultation on shale gas in 2013

Last month, at the European Parliament, the amendment “not to authorise any new hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU” was rejected. GEAI expressed its serious disappointment.
However, it is important to note that the same day, two important resolutions were adopted. Following the reports from the Environment and Industry committees, those texts call on the European Commission and the Member states to set up more “robust regulatory regimes”. For example one regulation states that “Special plans for water use should accompany any hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activities and as much water as possible should be recycled”.  Companies must disclose which chemicals are used, in order to comply with EU legislation, it adds, according to a press release from the European Parliament.
The Parliament also calls for further research, or “(…) to evaluate their legislation to see whether proper account is taken of this aspect, including the full application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention and the corresponding provisions in EU law; (…)“.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has published this statement:
“(…) It is clear that the future development of shale gas will depend on the extent of public acceptance of fracking. Addressing health and environmental risks will be of paramount importance for the industry to gain broad public acceptance and a ‘public license to operate’ in Europe.
Our challenge is to make the right and balanced choices. Studies carried out indicate that there are a number of uncertainties or gaps in current EU legislation and the Commission intends to deliver next year a framework to manage risks, address regulatory shortcomings, and to provide maximum clarity and predictability to market operators and citizens across the EU.”
The Independent Irish MEP Marian Harkin warmly welcomed this statement.
She stated that, on her blog:
“The Commissioner has now committed to an impact assessment in 2013, part of which will be a very significant public consultation, which will give citizens an opportunity to make their views known.
Proposals from the Commission are expected in 2014. At last the EU Commission is taking responsibility for environmental concerns and that has to be good news. The Commissioner also agreed that the risks from fracking are greater than those from conventional gas exploration. This is an important first step in helping to ensure that the widespread environmental concerns surrounding the shale gas extraction process are at last being addressed by the EU”.
See below an editing of Irish and Northern Irish MEP’s speeches:
Complete text adopted
Please follow us on Twitter, where we publish one important call from the European Parliament per day.

COPYRIGHT

® All rights reserved to GEAI 2017