Towards a statutory prohibition on importing fracked gas

Jan 25 2021 Posted: 16:09 GMT
LLM students working in partnership with the group 'Safety Before LNG' during the 2019-2020 academic year undertook extensive legal research and produced a legal opinion addressing the compatibility with EU and WTO trade law of a potential domestic legislative ban on the importation of fracked gas into Ireland. These students also published a podcast documentary which explored the research and organising behind the anti-fracked gas movement in Ireland and worldwide.
On 11 November, building on this work, Dr Maeve O’Rourke and LLM graduates Cassie Roddy-Mullineaux, Sophie Fitzpatrick and Colin Carney made a written submission to the Joint Committee on Climate Action with Johnny McElligott (Safety Before LNG), Tom White (Belcoo Frack Free) and Eddie Mitchell (Love Leitrim) proposing the establishment of a legislative ban on importing fracked gas by way of amendments to the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960. The submission, which also drew on the work of Gerry Liston of the Global Legal Action Network based at the ICHR, is available here

The submission had significant impact: the Joint Committee on Climate Action recommended in its December 2020 report on pre-legislative scrutiny of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 'that the Minister address in the Bill and/or revert to the Committee with a comprehensive plan to ban the importation of fracked gas and specifically to ban LNG terminals in Ireland within the year 2021'.