Ireland is poised to ban onshore hydraulic fracturing (fracking) after its Senate passed a bill on June 28 outlawing the destructive oil and gas extraction method.
Anti-fracking campaigning group Love Leitrim celebrated the development as a “victory for people power”.
The bill already passed the lower house of Ireland’s parliament (the Dail) in May and now awaits the president’s signature to become law. The Irish Independent said: “President Michael D Higgins is expected to sign it into law in the coming days with a date to be confirmed for the commencement of the ban.|
The bill was introduced by Sligo-Leitrim Dail member Tony McLoughlin, who called its passage one of the “proudest moments” of his political career.
“This law will mean communities in the West and North West of Ireland will be safeguarded from the negative effects of hydraulic fracking,” McLoughlin said.
He noted that Irish counties “will no longer face negative effects like those seen in cities and towns in the United States, where many areas have now decided to implement similar bans to the one before us.”
“If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland, it would pose significant threats to the air, water, and the health and safety of individuals and communities here,” he said.
Friends of the Earth Ireland also welcomed the move, tweeting that it was a “day to celebrate. A day for #ClimatePride. Here's to a #FossilFree future.”
[Reprinted from Common Dreams.]