Response to Fracking Report 17 April 2012
Minister Attwood responds to report on fracking
Environment Minister Alex Attwood today responded to an independent
report on fracking commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is where a well is drilled hundreds of metres deep and pumped full of water, sand and chemicals to release methane gas.
Alex Attwood said: “To simply adopt an approach that if gas exists in this form underground, for example in Fermanagh, it should be extracted, is a risk. This is a narrow approach. The right approach is to ask do we want to or need to extract the gas and can it be done safely? These are the standards against which to judge fracking. A rush to fracking is ill judged.
“I will consider this latest report, noting that its content is limited to the issue of earth tremors and does not address other issues and concerns around fracking.
“I have always said that all appropriate planning and environmental standards will strictly apply on the issue of fracking. As planning and environment Minister this approach will not be compromised. I continue to work with the Dublin government on the issue given that the Lough Allen basin is a shared cross border asset. I have also met Tamboran and made clear my approach.”