‘All I want for Xmas is a frack free Future’ say Irish children Love Leitrim release 18/12/14
In the wake of Wednesday 17th announcement that New York will ban Fracking, Irish children in a video call on the Irish government with a wish list of their own that includes a ban on Fracking in Ireland.
The Leitrim youngsters were asked to come up with a list of the kind of things they thought they might not be able to do should the Fracking industry come to Ireland. Much of it reflected their current rural life that they felt would be threatened, their ability to play, to swim in the local lakes in safety that they current learn in, and a risk to the closeness of their community. One asks of their wish that the Irish government would lead on the fight against climate change, while a little boy included his worry that he wouldn’t be able to take over their family farm.
In 2011, the Irish government granted options licences to 3 companies starting a chain of events that unless challenged could lead to major negative environmental and public health impacts. State agencies with regulatory roles are getting ready to assess applications for the next phase which involves granting exploration licences. Fracking research is being stepped up in 2015 to assist regulatory bodies in their roles and to develop regulations for the Fracking industry. But Love Leitrim through this Xmas campaign warn that the research does not meet the needs of the affected communities , instead it meets the needs of industry. Whereas the decision making in New York was guided by four year health research the EPA administered study doesn’t include a full Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as part of its terms of reference. Nobody with responsibility for Public health has a place at the Irish decision making table, which runs contrary to the advice on the top New York officials. This is also despite the fact that many of the 1,250 public submissions to a public consultation called for a full HIA.
Instead say Love Leitrim, Irish politicians are in danger of misleading the public by continuously suggesting that this research will help formulate policy in relation to Fracking.
Because of its focus on regulation of the industry rather than considering policy issues like public health and existing sustainable industrys like farming and tourism, the research is inherently flawed and is designed to facilitate the introduction of fracking into the country according to Love Leitrim.
In New York Gov Andrew Cuomo explained that along with the health research that they conducted it all came down to ‘What would I do if it was my child. And the answer was “I would not let my family live in a place that they are doing High Volume Fracking” Cuomo said that this “was good enough for him”
Eddie Mitchell Chair of Love Leitrim said
‘It’s time that we put our communities, families and public health at the heart of decision making rather than industry and investors. If New York has said that high volume hydraulic fracturing is not safe enough for its children, we need the Irish politicians to stop kidding themselves and the public while they develop regulations that will roll out the industry here. Lets give our children and our children’s children a real Christmas present for their future. If it’s good enough for New York it’s good enough for us. Lets Ban Fracking in Ireland”