Protesters gathered outside Tánaiste’s office today to express their opposition to plans for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
Fracking victim Ray Kimble, 68, delivered a letter urging Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan to meet with him about the proposed Shannon gas project.
Outside the Department for Enterprise and Employment, NGOs and members of the public joined Mr Kimble in protesting the potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) project proposed with New Fortress Energy.
Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future were among the NGOs organizing the protest.
Mr. Varadkar has previously met with New Fortress Energy CEO Wes Edens and indicated a future partnership.
Mr Martin recently said: “The government program allows LNG but without fracking gas”.
US activists like Mr. Kimble are aware that any LNG terminal under New Fortress Energy would be importing fracked gas, violating the government program.
Mr. Kimble, a former Pennsylvania gas worker who worked for the fracking industry, attended the protest and shared his stories of poisoned well water and sick friends due to fracking practices.
“I want to tell people what is happening near these gas plants, I want to tell them about the damage.
“I lost the water in my house over a decade ago. We now have to deliver water from another city.
“When they drilled the wells they killed 33 families and in one day we lost our water.
“So now we have $400,000 homes that are worth zero. Because of my work in this industry, I had breathing problems.
“So I understand it’s a health issue – what they did there is what they want to do here.”
He said he wanted to meet politicians here.
“Come and talk to me, they will learn the truth of what is really going on from those affected. Talk to the victims on the other end. You never think about it,” Mr Kimble said.
One of Mr Kimble’s friends recently died after being diagnosed with barium and radiation poisoning, which he says can be traced back to his time in the fracking industry.
Despite having documents proving his well water was poisoned with “four grades of uranium”, Mr Kimble doesn’t think the Irish Government will listen to him.
“The odds that they’ll come out here and talk to me are about the same as a snowball in Hell.
“I don’t think the government here is aware of these dangers. They work on the script that the industry gives them. They don’t want to see the other side. Well, I’m here to shove it under your nose,” said Mr. Kimble.
Manuel Salazar (47), spokesman for the climate group Extinction Rebellion, insisted that any LNG project is potentially catastrophic for Ireland and offers no solution to the current climate crisis.
“It’s infrastructure we don’t need because we don’t depend on Russian oil.
“And that is one of the main reasons why the EU exempted us from the 50 per cent cut in gas that will take place this winter.
“The fact that we’re going for gas, which is a dirty fuel, is bad for the environment,” he said.
Protesters argue that the Shannon LNG project cannot be approved because its gas is sourced through fracking practices.
“If it comes from the US, we know very well it’s from fracking sources – about 98 percent.
“This information is supported by the Department of Protection Agency in the United States. New Fortress must then prove that this is not the case.
“Our gas comes from the North Sea through pipelines from Scotland, so there is no argument for the government to say we are doing this because of the Russo-Ukrainian war,” Mr Salazar said.
Jerry Macevilly, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said emissions from LNG would prevent Ireland from meeting its climate commitments and targets.
“In terms of actually solving our energy security problems, an LNG terminal would not be with us for another five or ten years. So it will not solve the immediate crisis. The answer is to reduce our demand.
“It is important and relevant for the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Eamon Ryan to meet with those affected on the ground and hear from the climate and environmental scientists who truly understand the impacts and risks,” Mr Macevilly said.
Representative of youth interests was Madgalena Sedlmayr (20), demonstrator at Fridays for Future.
“As members of the young generation, we are concerned. This is what we will live in Ireland for the next few decades.
“We will watch them and fight to ensure that they do the right thing over the next ten years,” Ms. Sedlmayr said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/protesters-gather-to-voice-their-opposition-to-plans-for-a-liquified-natural-gas-lng-terminal-41906266.html Protesters gather to express their opposition to plans for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal