16/09/2015

Sinn Féin Renew Call For Complete Ban On Fracking

Sinn Féin have renewed its call for the government to issued a complete ban on fracking in Ireland.

Matt Carthy, MEP for the Midlands North West, made the call following a response to a written question he submitted revealed that the European Commission has not ruled out an EU-wide ban on the process.

Mr Carthy said: "I highlighted to the Commission a recent study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh revealed that women living near high-density unconventional gas drilling (UGD) were more likely to have babies with lower birth weights than women living further from drilling sites.

"As if we needed another reason to be fundamentally opposed to the practise, this is yet another concerning factor associated with hydraulic fracturing.

"Upon asking the Commission to consider the findings of this report when analysing EU policy on the practise of Fracking, the Commission confirmed that recent scientific information on environmental and public health impacts and risks of hydrocarbons exploration or extraction using hydraulic fracturing will be considered in this exercise.

"Following my questioning for an update around their view as to whether an EU-wide ban is warranted the Commission have not ruled out such a measure.

"Given that the Commission has confirmed that they will be taking recent scientific information into consideration and knowing all evidence which proves the negative impact fracking has on the environment and the health of the people close to drilling sites it appears very possible to me that the Commission will eventually call for an EU wide ban.

"However, the Irish government cannot sit on their hands and wait for such a move. They should be proactive in ensuring that such a ban is put in place in Ireland immediately.

"Certainly I, along with my Sinn Féin colleagues in the European Parliament and across the island of Ireland, remain committed in our opposition of fracking north and south," he concluded.

(MH/JP)

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