Safety Before LNG
Exposing the truth about the Hess 'Shannon LNG' project
Negative Effects on the Shannon Estuary
Nevada LNG Explosion

Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Press Release October 14th 2019:

Scientists prove that Importing US Fracked Gas 

        into Ireland is a Race to the Bottom 

            with a carbon-equivalent 

    foot-print 44% greater than coal

The Science Against US Fracked Gas dominates 
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

The Science against the importation of US fracked gas into Ireland via LNG tankers has finally spoken out loud and clear to the Climate Action Committee of the Irish Legistlature and the frightening message was heard and understood by everybody present. It was a message which can only lead in one direction  - a total ban on the importation of US fracked gas into Ireland.

Giving special witness testimonony, world-renowned expert on the global methane cycle, New York's Cornell University Professor, Rowert W. Howarth, told the Climate Action Committee 
on October 9th 2019 that  "if Ireland were to import LNG from the United States, it would largely be shale gas".  He said that "Methane is an incredibly powerful greenhouse gas, more than 100 times more powerful than carbon dioxide compared gram to gram". His latest peer-reviewed research has found that "shale gas development in North America is the single largest driver of this increase in methane, accounting for one-third of the increase in global emissions from all sources". He went on to "estimate that the use of shale gas imported as LNG to Ireland, would create greenhouse gas emissions of 156g CO2-equivalents per MJ, or a foot-print 44% greater than that of coal". He very eloquently urged Ireland to prohibit the importation of fracked shale gas from the United States.

In oral testimony, Professor Howarth explained that "if we do not reduce methane emissions, the Earth will shoot through the 2 degree Celsius mark within the next 20 to 30 years, with devasting consequences".

Professor Barry McMullin of Dublin City University, also giving expert testimony, speaking of the potential impact of reducing methane emissions rapidly, told the Climate Committee that "the big win from such a reduction would be that it buys us more time. Methane is faster acting, which means that an effective reduction in methane emissions in the short term would buy us some desparately needed time to do this complete reconstruction of our energy system".

Reacting to Professor McMullin's comment, Professor Howarth agreed, He explained:

"I agree with my colleague. Reduced methane emissions can slow the rate of global warming more quickly than reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, where there is a lag of several decades due to uptake, and release by the oceans. If we are serious about trying to minimise the risk of major thresholds in the climate system and irreversible runaway global warming, we need to try to keep the increase will below 2 degrees celsius. We do not have until 2050 to do that. We need to start moving that way now. It absolutely requires reducing methane emissions. I do not buy the idea of natural gas as a bridge or transitional fuel at all".

Julia Walsh, from 'Frack Action' travelled over from the New York, where fracking is now banned, to tell the Committee that
"If Ireland imports fracked gas at the Shannon LNG terminal, it will be locking itself into more than a decade of complicity in harming the people and children of Pennsylvania. In recent months, the 'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette' has investigated and found at least 67 diagnoses of cancers, some of which are exteremely rare, in children in just four rural, heavily fracked counties of the state. Health professionals are alarmed by this. As I previously stated, there are now more than 1,500 scientific studies and reports in the United States which overwhelmingly show the harm caused by fracking".

Doctor Paul Deane of the MaREI Centre at University College Cork said that
"Ireland could sustain an interruption period of up to ten months without the need for LNG infrastructure".

Doctor Deane said:
"In essence, the question is whether we need LNG. From the detailed modelling we have undertaken in UCC, it is not entirely obvious that LNG infrastructure will be required in Ireland. We have modelled in detail supply interruptions coming from Russia and independently coming from Norway and north Africa. The lights have remained on in Ireland in all our simulations, which points to the fact that LNG infrastructure may not be required within Ireland".

He also pointed out that
"we are very lucky to have a resilient gas infrastructure and the recent twinning of the gas pipes coming from Scotland to Ireland has increased that resilience even further".

Doctor Deane also agreed with Professor McMullin that
"much of our gas is used to provide electricity, while the addition of the electricity interconnector between Ireland and France [...] will further reduce Ireland's need for imported gas".

Local Reaction:
Eddie Mitchell of 'Love Letrim', whose campaigning, along with that of scores of other environmental groups, helped bring in the Fracking Ban in Ireland in 2017 had strong words for locals supporting the project in the hope of jobs and economic development in the region when he told the Committee:

"I would be very angry if I was a member of that community because people have been wasting their time for the past couple of years after we banned fracking. The general public did not know this was fracked gas but plenty of people did. This should have been more transparent. People should have understood that it was fracked gas. An alternative project could have been found for that site by now, something that could have contributed to the community, which needs jobs. People have been wasting that community's time".

1. Joint Committee on Climate Action Debate, Wed October 9th, 2019: