Ireland has joined the ranks of Germany, France and Bulgaria with a new measure.
The law now bans onshore fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the earth.
A private member’s bill was passed earlier this week in the Oireachtas (senior level of the Irish Parliament).
“The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016 was passed in the Dáil two weeks ago, and now goes to the President for signature.
It is the first Private Members’ Bill to be passed by both Houses during the lifetime of the minority Government” (Sc. Irish Times)
The bill sadly does not include offshore fracking (motions to do so were defeated), but it means that the land of Ireland will be free of fracking for the time being.
“This ban is a great victory for the local campaigners who have mobilised and educated themselves, their communities and their elected representatives on the threat fracking poses to local water, regional employment and global climate,” said Kate Ruddock, spokesperson for umbrella group Environmental Pillar, in an interview with Journal.ie, “All around the world communities are campaigning to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to put citizens at the heart of a new, clean, healthy energy system. This victory is a tribute to their solidarity and is a shot in the arm for our common cause of a fossil free future.”
But what is fracking? Well, it’s basically the hydraulic fracturing of the earth, with the intent on releasing trapped gas for human use.
What could possibly go wrong?