"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Investigative Journalist and Best selling author Greg Palast has joined a growing list of international figures warning locals not to trust any perspective gas company. But Mr Palast has brought new information to our ears, he says that Ireland will be able to import gas cheaper than they can produce it in Leitrim.
The latest report on fracking in England by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering claim that fracking should go ahead in Britain if the regulatory conditions are correct. Despite the clean bill of health this report gives the controversial process, Greg Palast, investigative reporter for the BBC and The Guardian newspaper does not agree. Mr Palast has travelled over a few continents and has become familiar with the fracking process of oil and gas companies for his latest book: Vulture’s Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pig, Power Pirates and High-Finance Predators.
Arriving at Knock Airport and travelling to Enniskillen and then down to Carrick-on-Shannon, Mr Palast had one very obvious comment “This ain’t Texas!” Moving aside the obvious concerns bout the fracking process and possible leaks of chemicals and contamination into our water tables, Mr Palast explains that fracking works in Dakota, USA because 200-300 sq miles of the land is “empty.” He said US regulators would not allow fracking in this area as it is populated.
Palast has a few questions for Tamaboran one of the two gas companies seeking a fracking licence for this area - but the stand out one is simply “Why?” He said it will be “impossibly expensive to bring up little gas” here, especially if the company expect to do so with little chemical input.
Greg Palast said America, Trinidad and Venezuela are about to start exporting their gas - they have too much. Palast said a tanker of gas which is easily produced in those countries would keep Ireland heated for a year. The investigator said their gas will be cheaper to import than any we can produce here.
So why does Tamboran want to frack here? “It just doesn’t add up,” Palast exclaimed, he asked if Tamboran have been guaranteed a minimum price for the gas from the Irish Government?
Palast had lots of questions on specifics like where the pipes are going, the size of the machines, the cement casings etc. He said the trucks to and from the wells would “break up your roads like crackers!” Palast is much concerned with “who will clean up the mess” after what he believes to be a “short term project” here is over. He said one of the biggest gas companies in America with up to 200,000 wells has gone bankrupt in America and now their obligations to clean up the land is gone. What will happen in Ireland? In Leitrim?
Greg Palast held an event in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon on Monday night, July 2. He was invited here to speak on behalf of No Fracking Ireland. Mr Palast is currently promoting his book Vultures Picnic.