LNG without fracked gas is not a reality for Shannon LNG.
More than 150 climate activists from around Ireland took part in a mass trespass of the site of the proposed Shannon LNG gas import terminal today (Sunday) in a “show of strength and a warning” to project developer, US corporation New Fortress Energy, and the Government.
The site occupation was the culmination of a six-day Climate Camp on nearby farmland, attended by some 400 people. The group entered the site at 1pm and engaged in several actions, including spelling “Frack Off LNG!” with their bodies, followed by a ceilí.
“We take this action in solidarity with communities suffering the devastating impacts of fracking in the United States,” said a statement from Climate Camp Ireland.
When asked about Shannon LNG last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said “LNG that uses fuel that’s not derived from fracking is consistent with the Programme for Government”. The organisers of the Climate Camp cite that this would not be the case with the proposed Shannon LNG terminal by New Fortress Energy who has repeatedly reported the gas would come from hydraulic fracturing. Also New Fortress Energy’s proposed export terminals in the United States are in areas that would transport fracked gas.
Johnny McElligott of Safety Before LNG said:
“The question on Shannon LNG being a fracked gas import project is now beyond doubt. The US has become the largest exporter of LNG in 2022. New Fortress Energy (NFE) itself admitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would source the gas from hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania. All of NFE’s upstream operations in the US involve fracking.”
These facts and other evidence, complete with sources, are compiled in a document on the Safety Before LNG website:
“The science is crystal clear, our current fossil fuel infrastructure will take us over the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees warming. If we want to have a chance of a stable future we simply cannot construct any new fossil fuel infrastructure – this includes Shannon LNG,” said Dr Laura Kehoe, an environmental scientist who joined the Climate Camp.
“Liquefied natural gas is methane gas, it is not a transition fuel, it is over 80 times more powerful than carbon. Right at the time when we need to drastically cut our emissions the last thing we need is to put more gas on the fire. The place where science is respected is not within the walls of Leinster house, it is here, with the people. But we need more people to stand together to demand an end to this madness.”
Dr Kehoe, who has worked in science for over a decade, added: “We have published reports, signed petitions and organised marches, but emissions keep rising. Now is the time for radical climate action.”
Climate Camp Ireland issued a statement:
“People in Ireland are acutely aware of how serious the climate crisis is but that awareness hasn’t translated into the public outrage necessary to force urgent climate action. The aim of this gathering was to empower people to recognise that we can change this world if we come together and take radical action.
“Hundreds of climate activists from across the island came together, shared skills and ideas and strategised about how to foster change from the bottom up. We need system change and for that we must confront the fossil fuel corporations and other hugely powerful vested interests that are driving our world towards a climate catastrophe and putting all our futures at risk.
“The site occupation was a show of strength and a warning to New Fortress Energy and the government that if this disastrous project goes ahead, we will obstruct it at every opportunity.”
One participant in the camp, Aine Fahey, said: “I used to think if I learnt more about the climate crisis it would make me more anxious, but the opposite was true. I have never felt more filled with determined hope, more at home, and more energised than I have in these past five days at climate camp.”
Ray Kemble, a former gas worker and resident of Pennsylvania, where his water well has been poisoned by fracking in the area where fracked gas for the Shannon LNG terminal would be extracted, took part in the Climate Camp. He spoke at several workshops during the camp about the public health dangers of fracking.
“I’m here to tell my story and as a proud Irish-American, I’m hopeful that the people of Ireland will listen. This isn’t just an environmental and climate issue, this is a human rights issue. Those of us who live in the areas of the United States that are being fracked are fighting for our lives. It’s a public health disaster. Ireland rightly banned fracking for public health and environmental reasons and should not import fracked gas from the United States,” Kemble said.
Kemble, who worked for the fracking industry and whose well water in his house was poisoned from fracking in 2010, has spoken out for years about the harm that fracking has caused in Pennsylvania. The Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Concerned Health Professionals of NY recently released a new report that outlines the over 2,000 scientific studies and reports outlining problems with fracking and related infrastructure across the US including water contamination, air pollution and public health impacts.
The Camp received a message of support from Mark Ruffalo, actor and long-time anti-fracking advocate, who lives near the proposed LNG export terminal along the Delaware River: “I’m proud to support the Climate Camp in Ireland that is raising awareness about the dangers of the proposed Shannon LNG terminal that would import gas from Pennsylvania and further devastate those communities. Ireland rightly banned fracking because of the environmental and public health impacts and should reject this terminal for those very same reasons.”
Climate Camp was organised by activists from across Ireland and local campaigners and included workshops, debates, training and a radical art research space. There was also music, céilí, poetry, a herbal plants walk, forest school and more.
More information at climatecampireland.ie
ABOUT CLIMATE CAMP IRELAND
Climate Camp Ireland is organised by a collective of environmental campaigners, community activists and others from across the island of Ireland. The main organising group is Slí Eile, an anti-capitalist climate action group.
Climate Camp Ireland has three main aims:
• Bringing people together to build a strong, radical climate movement on the island of Ireland
• Creating a collectively held space that provides a model of the society we want and need beyond capitalism
• Resisting the planned Shannon LNG terminal.
1. Fine Gael Minister Simon Coveney said in 2020: “We have banned fracking in Ireland and we are not going to have fracked gas produced in Ireland as part of our energy mix and so the thinking in relation to Shannon LNG which is largely being proposed as a storage mechanism for fracked gas to be imported from the US is something that wasn’t consistent with that policy direction”.
Detailed evidence that the gas imported via the Shannon LNG terminal would be gas sourced from fracking in the US:
Press release / Issued by Climate Camp Ireland / Sunday, 7th August 2022