19 October 2020
The government must “move quickly” in ruling out Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, the co-chair of the Just Transition Greens said today.
Cork City Councillor Lorna Bogue issued the call in response to a report in yesterday’s Business Post which revealed that Jersey-based company Predator Oil & Gas has proposed it would operate as many as five LNG terminals across the country.
If built, these floating terminals would be stationed near to the Kinsale Gas Field in Cork, the Corrib Gas Field in Mayo, and off the coast of Drogheda, in addition to the contested proposals for Cork Harbour and Shannon.
The terminals are very often subsidised by the taxpayer in some shape or form and they would “lock the state into further fossil-fuel use”, Ms. Bogue warned.
The Government therefore needs to take immediate action, she added, and banning the terminals’ construction would, “send a regulatory signal to possible investors that the state intends to move away from fossil fuels”.
While the Green Party pushed for an end of LNG infrastructure construction altogether in the Programme for Government, the document ultimately committed to opposing the importation of fracked gas.
Fracking and its impact
Fracking involves the injection of sand, pressurised water and various chemicals into shale rocks in order to force gas upwards.
A number of studies have linked the practice to health issues, earth tremors and large carbon and methane emissions.
The previous government referred to it as a “bridge fuel” in the energy transition, however, a 2019 report referred to its production and use as a “bridge to climate disaster”.
Throughout its supply chain, gas allows for methane leakage which has a warming effect 84 to 87 times greater than that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period.
The LNG terminal proposed for the Shannon Estuary has faced mounting public opposition, with critics in particular pointing out that the then-government who oversaw its development were well-aware that the site would use fracked gas.
The process of extracting the fuel is currently banned in Ireland due to environmental and health concerns.
It has also faced legal challenge by Friends of the Irish Environment, with the second case brought forward in June this year.
Friends of the Irish Environment allege that both the state and the regional bloc did not carry out the necessary independent sustainability/climate and cost-benefit analysis of the terminal before submitting it for the fourth EU Project of Common Interest list, as is required under EU law.