There is definite bad faith in Ireland outlawing fracking on the domestic front while planning a terminal in the Shannon estuary in order to import large quantities of fracked gas from the US, argues Ciara Murphy of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, in an article published recently by America, the US Jesuit magazine. ‘Fracking’, the process of injecting a chemical cocktail through boreholes so as to fracture rock formations and release the gases below, is associated with multiple hazards, both of an ecological and of a health kind.
“The process of fracturing rock to capture gas,” Ciara writes,
can lead to the escape of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and contamination of the atmosphere, groundwater and soil. One scientist who opposes the Shannon River facility says that the carbon footprint of imported LNG [liquified natural gas] is 44 percent higher than that of coal. Fracking also raises concerns about significant health risks, and activists in Pennsylvania are demanding an investigation into high numbers of childhood and young adult cancer cases near shale gas operations.
In spite of this, the Irish government has added an LNG terminal to the European Union’s list of Projects of Common Interest, proposing that it be built in a ‘Special Area of Conservation’ by the Shannon.
Read Ciara’s full article here »