Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has voiced her disappointment after a vote calling for Environmental Impact Assessments to be applied to all planning involving Fracking failed to receive the necessary support.
Ms Anderson warned:
“If you value the environment be careful who you vote for in next year’s EU elections.
“In the EU Parliament in Strasbourg today I voted in favour of Environmental Impact Assessments being extended to the exploration and extraction of shale gas and was disappointed that it did not get sufficient support in the Parliament to be carried.
“This was despite the fact that over 100 local governments across Europe including in France and countries around the world like South Africa, Canada and Australia have a ban or moratorium on Fracking. There are well documented concerns that greed and the unscrupulous pursuit of profit is destroying the Environment around us.
“If we continue to ignore the damage we are doing to the environment through processes such as Fracking it won’t be too long before the Fields of Ireland go from 40 shades of Green to 50 shades of Grey.
“Fracking involves drilling at a depth below ground water level which can cause contamination to drinking water supplies as well as despoiling the countryside. There are serious concerns about the potential damage to cropland affected by contaminated ground water and to public health from polluted drinking water.
“While I believe that we should always apply the precautionary Principles when faced with evidence such as the seismic tremors caused by shale gas exploration in the North West of England, it would seem that too many MEP’s are influenced in their voting by lobbyists on behalf of multi-national exploration companies.
“It was precisely because of this cosy relationship between MEPs and lobbyists that one of the first issues I tackled on taking my place in the EU Parliament was to campaign to have the rules and regulations regarding lobbying reformed to ensure that members would act in the best interests of their constituents and not of large conglomerates. I will continue this campaign but I would caution the electorate to be careful who you vote for if you want to protect the environment for your children and grandchildren.”