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For Background Details of the proposed Shannon LNG, US Fracked Gas Import Terminal on the Shannon Estuary by 'New Fortress Energy' project (with planning permission for the terminal and pipeline now expired) please click here.

February 10th 2024: Time for Minister Ryan to call a halt to LNG plan in November's Outdated Energy Security Strategy

LNG plans outdated within a mere 2 months by Revelation that Corrib Gas fields are being extended, that Moffat Capacity is being increased by 42% and that Gas Networks Ireland is Eliminating all Single points of failure in the twinned gas interconnectors

February 5th 2024: Irish Environmental Network (IEN) got over €1 million for An Taisce's Shell to Sea Court Case Settlement

IEN got an average of €100,000 per meeting of the Environmental Law Implementation Group (ELIG) over 12 years

January 30th 2024: Irish Offshore reopens for gas exploration as New Inishkea Gas Field at Corrib approved by Irish Green Party Leader, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan - making a further mockery of his proposal for a US LNG fracked gas import terminal in Energy Security Strategy

November 14th 2023: Irish Green Party Leader, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan, officially signals his intention to make an LNG U-turn on the current government policy against LNG terminals and the importation of fracked gas into Ireland.
- It is amazing to see how a Green Party Minister for Energy can argue that the construction of new Large-scale LNG fossil fuel infrastructure can bring more energy security to Ireland. And what is worse is that the Irish householders will be expected to pay for it.

September 15th 2023: Delight as Shannon LNG is REFUSED planning permission to build its US fracked gas import terminal in Ireland due to Irish ban on fracked gas imports

- Claims that the flow of over €27 million by Shannon LNG into Irish state-controlled bodies during its planning process put huge and inappropriate pressure on Irish planning authorites
- Calls for the return of the site to public ownership after it was revealed that Shannon LNG controversially purchased the lands from the state-owned Shannon Group for €25 million during the planning process at a time when it was against government policy to permit any LNG terminals to be proceeded with.

Click here to view all our latest Press Releases
 



1 - The Carbon Budget Choice is FARMING OR FRACKING  - Shannon LNG = the methane emissions of 450,000 dairy cattle or 1 million beef cattle

More Carbon Budget threats to Irish Farming following revelation that the Shannon LNG Emissions would equal the Methane Emissions from 1 Million Beef Cattle
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With up to 10 times the emissions of pipeline gas, LNG would mean a higher proportion of the Carbon Budget Choice would be used for the fracked gas industry and that even more Irish cattle would have to be culled and food production reduced at a time of pending world food shortages to compensate.

  • Based on figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)), Methane Life Cycle Scientist Professor Robert Howarth of Cornell University calculated that the full lifecycle emissions for the 600 MW power plant proposed by Shannon LNG (to power the 8 data centres it plans for the site) would be the equivalent of the annual methane emissions of 450, 000 dairy cows or 999,000 beef cows. Given that there currently is a budget for emissions, why should farmers suffer the brunt of emissions cuts while the owners of Shannon LNG, a US-based company, New Fortress Energy, run by the US King of Subprime lending Wes Edens, makes millions of dollars and emits large amounts of toxic gases at their expense?
  • Locking our limited carbon budget into fracked gas powering Shannon LNG’s proposed development means even more of the national herd will have to be culled and food production in Ireland reduced at a time of pending world food shortages.
  • 450,000 dairy cows  represents 28% of the total number of dairy cows  (1,603,721) in the country - and is more than the total number of dairy cows in Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Clare combined.


  • 1 million beef cattle is more than the entire beef cow herd of 936,773  in Ireland.
  • The Fugitive Methane Emissions alone (as separate from the carbon dioxide emissions) from the proposed Shannon LNG project would equal the methane emissions from 237,000 dairy cows (14.7% of the national herd and greater than the total number of dairy cows in Kerry and Limerick combined) or 530,000 beef cattle (over 56% of the national beef cow herd).
  • As part of its medium-term decarbonisation targets in the Programme for Government, the government has committed to delivering an average 7% reduction in emissions each year to 2030.
  • However, Norwegian Research firm Rystad Energy found in November 2022 that the production and transport of LNG causes up to 10 times the carbon emissions of the pipeline gas from the UK network currently supplying gas to Ireland.
  • And Shannon LNG itself admitted in its 2021 planning application that the upstream emissions of LNG are 2.5 times greater than those of natural gas from the UK gas network currently supplying gas to Ireland.
  • In 2019, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate action were informed by scientists that importing US fracked gas to Tarbert would have a 44% higher carbon-equivalent footprint over a 20-year period than importing coal to Moneypoint power station in County Clare.
  • In effect, unnecessary higher carbon emissions from Shannon LNG's fracked gas imports would mean other sectors of the economy having to unacceptably reduce their production even further, such as the dairy and beef sector.
The reasons why fracked gas is so controversial
  • The Compendium:  The “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking”, produced  by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility, is a collection of some 2,000 abstracts of and links to medical, scientific and investigative evidence that fracking-related activities harm public health, the environment, and the climate.
  • In May 2021, NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights published a research report finding that fracking is incompatible with states’ human rights law obligations to protect, respect and fulfil basic human rights including  the right to life​,health​, water​, food​, housing​, access to information​, public participation​, a safe, clean, and healthy environment, and  the rights of marginalised persons & communities. It noted that a significant body of scientific evidence now exists to demonstrate that fracking is dangerous to public health, water, air, climate stability, farming, property, and economic vitality in ways that cannot be mitigated through regulation.
  • Fracking pollutes and poisons water, land and people. North Kerry forms part of the Clare Gas Basin and was targeted for fracking in 2011. This stopped when Ireland banned fracking in 2017. It is unacceptable to now impose fracking damage on other rural communities abroad.
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  • But we also fear that if fracked gas comes into Ireland, it would only be a matter of time before we see an attempt to start fracking here under the excuse that it would do less climate damage than importing US fracked gas. Cuadrilla has already used that same argument in the UK to lobby for fracking there. Cuadrilla CEO, Francis Egan, stated that “By replacing liquefied natural gas imports and continuing to decrease reliance on coal, with shale gas produced onshore, we will reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and provide a cost-effective source of energy for our homes, businesses and industry.”
2- ELECTRICITY SUPPLY, NOT GAS SUPPLY is causing the risk of blackouts

  • There is no lack of gas supply in the country, only a lack of power stations to power the grid.
  • Data centres are currently using 14% of the country’s  electricity supply, which is more than the electricity consumed by all the rural homes in the country, and this figure is predicted to rise to 30% within the next 8 years. The Ennis data centre, which Clare County Council approved in August, will consume as much electricity as over 200,000 homes, which is the same as the number of homes in counties Clare, Limerick and Kerry combined.
  • Shannon LNG says that it plans eight data centres on the site which would consume a large portion of the energy created from the imported fracked gas in the first place if the project goes ahead.
  • If the massive increase in electricity demand for data centres in the coming years is to be fueled by fracked gas imports then other sectors in the economy, such as agriculture, will be expected to reduce their emissions accordingly (as all sectors are currently fighting for a piece of the carbon pie or budget). While different sectors of the economy end up fighting for an ever smaller piece of the carbon budget, Shannon LNG and its fracked gas import supporters think they should get a free ride. This is not a fair nor sustainable option. 
  • A Review  of the Security of Energy Supply of Ireland’s Electricity and Natural Gas Systems is currently being undertaken by Minister Eamon Ryan’s Department of Energy. In September 2022, in a move expected to bring death by a thousand cuts for the Shannon LNG US fracked gas import project, the Irish Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications published the policy options it is proposing as part of its review of the Security of Energy Supply of Ireland's Electricity and Natural Gas Systems. Shannon LNG is not the preferred option and it is now widely expected that this should lead to An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission for the controversial fracked gas import  project in Tarbert, County Kerry.  At the very least, it is now impossible for An Bord Pleanála to legally make a decision in favour of Shannon LNG until the public consultation on the Energy Review options is completed in 2023 as that would be contrary to the existing government policy and preferred future policy.

3- IRREGULAR PAYMENTS of €4.1 million to Kerry County Council by Shannon LNG raise very serious ethical questions
Controversial Shannon LNG's payments of millions of euros to Kerry County Council before it lodged its planning application compromises and taints the Kerry County Development Plan, local activists fear. 'Safety Before LNG' says that the highly irregular payments need to be fully and independently investigated.

Shannon LNG has paid €4,103,625 to date to Kerry County Council as possible development contributions for road widening in Tarbert. A question mark is hanging over the Council on whether or not it will have to pay that more-than €4 million back to Shannon LNG if the development does not go ahead?

Kerry County Council requested and was paid over €2.4 million by Shannon LNG after its planning permission for an onshore LNG terminal expired in 2018 and before it lodged a new planning application for a floating LNG terminal and 600 MW Power Station in Tarbert in 2021.

Fine Gael Councillor Jim Finucane told the Irish Independent Newspaper that these payments were "good faith" contributions made by a company that was committed to the area. This defence by a Fine Gael politician of irregular payments of millions of euros to the council is unacceptable in this day and age. Is he taking the people for fools, we ask?

Shannon LNG still had a valid planning permission to construct a 500 MW power station next to the onshore terminal but the power station was so intrinsically linked to the proposed terminal it was questionable if the power station could ever be built as planned if the terminal could not go ahead. But Shannon LNG paid the money anyway. All of this €2.4 million was paid after Shannon LNG held its first pre-application planning meeting with Kerry County Council, on January 24th 2020, concerning the new application for Strategic Infrastructure Status it had lodged at An Bord Pleanála on March 20th, 2019 for a Floating LNG terminal and power station.

Even after having the confirmation in the High Court in November 2020 that Shannon LNG had lost all existing planning consent for the onshore LNG terminal since 2018 Shannon LNG, nevertheless, paid €1,828,625 to Kerry County Council before it lodged a new planning application on August 27th 2021 for a floating LNG terminal and 600 MW power plant. Kerry County Council, a prescribed body, ended up supporting the planning application at An Bord Pleanála at its October 18th 2021 meeting..

Figures detailed in an AIE response from Kerry County Council have revealed that the local authority requested and was paid 7 payments totalling €4,103,625 by Shannon LNG since 2009. The latest payment of €578,625 was on August 18th, 2021 - 9 days before Shannon LNG lodged its planning application on August 27th 2021 with Kerry County Council support.

On one occasion, on January 19th 2021, Kerry County Council actually received €625,000 from Shannon LNG on the very same day it held a formal pre-application planning meeting with Shannon LNG on a planning application it had not yet lodged.

This is a summary of the payments from the AIE response:



Click here to read the full background to the Irregular payments of millions of euros to Kerry County Council by Shannon LNG


4 - SHANNON LNG WAR PROFITEERING - Neutral Ireland Does Not Import Russian Gas

  • Neutral Ireland does not import Russian Gas.
  • Outside of our domestic Corrib gas field, Ireland’s gas imports come from the North Sea - from Norway and the UK - via 2 parallel interconnectors.
  • Ireland and the UK make up the one gas market. Cutting off UK supply to Ireland would mean cutting off gas to Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
  • Ireland benefits from all the security of supply advantages that the UK currently enjoys such as diverse supply routes and gas storage.
  • An LNG terminal would make gas prices even more volatile as LNG cargoes can be diverted to other more-profitable destinations.
  • Ireland was granted the option of an exemption from mandatory EU-wide gas cuts by the European Commission because of the begrudging recognition by the European Commission that the Irish gas grid is not connected to any other EU Member State.
  • Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union gives each EU Member State the right of “choice between different energy sources”.
  • We are strongly of the opinion that the war in Ukraine and the boomerang sanctions against Russian energy cannot be used as a fracked gas war-profiteering excuse to import fracked gas from the U.S. to Europe.In July 2022, the US Energy Information Administration announced that the United States had become the world's largest LNG exporter in the first half of 2022. Replacing Russian gas imports into Europe with U.S. fracked gas is highly questionable on human rights, public health, climate and environmental grounds. Since Ireland’s supply of gas imports does not come from Russia but from the North Sea via the Moffat interconnectors in Scotland owned by Gas Networks Ireland, it is unacceptable to use the war as an excuse to lock Ireland into even more gas infrastructure at a time when it should be diversifying away from it.
  • New Fortress Energy, which is currently targeting Ireland as its sole European destination for U.S. Fracked gas at its proposed Shannon LNG terminal, cannot therefore claim to be reducing Ireland's dependence on Russian gas.
  • On March 1st, 2022, two Irish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) - Clare Daly and Mick Wallace - were amongst the 13 MEPS who voted against a resolution in the European Parliament entitled "Russian Aggression against Ukraine", while 26 other MEPs abstained and 637 voted for the resolution. While they both condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine they did not support the motion on, inter alia, the grounds of neutrality (Ireland's official position we note) and because the motion also called for "expanding liquefied natural gas terminals".


TARBERT BALLYLONGFOR LANDBANK SOLD OFF
Most disgraceful of all, locally is the fact that the entire 600-acre site of the proposed LNG terminal strategic public land in North Kerry (under the control of Shannon Group State Body) were sold to Wes Edens’ Shannon LNG for €25 million in late 2021 after the new planning application for theLNG terminal was lodged in August 2021 by Shannon LNG, contrary to the official government policy on the importation of fracked gas published on May 18th, 2021 in place at the time.

The policy statement declares that "Ireland imports much of its natural gas via the two
interconnector pipelines from Moffat in Scotland, which provide the majority of natural gas currently used in Ireland. Given the level of fracked gas in the imports from Scotland is considered very low, the highest risk of fracked gas being imported into Ireland on a large-scale would be via liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, if any were to be constructed". The policy statement concludes that “pending the outcome of the review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems, it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with”.

The current state of play with the Shannon LNG project
  • All planning permissions and consents  were lost in November 2020 after Wes Edens' company Shannon LNG, allegedly, unsuccessfully offered what was described in the Dáil as a bribe of €1 million to environmental NGO ‘Friends of the Irish Environment’ as a settlement to prevent the illegal An Bord Pleanála decision giving an extension of planning to Shannon LNG being overturned in the High Court.
  • In 2021, Shannon LNG reapplied for planning permission to An Bord Pleanála. Objections against the planning application were lodged by over 1,500 people and 76 politicians, which included MEPs, Senators, TDs and Councillors - including former Ireland-South MEP Kathy Sinnott and Sinn Féin President, Mary Lou McDonald and all the MEPS, TDs and Senators from People Before Profit, Labour, Independents 4 Change, Right to Change and the Social Democrats
  • The entire 603 acres state-owned proposed LNG site was sold by the state body 'Shannon Group', under the control of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to Wes Edens’ Shannon LNG for €25 million in late 2021. Furthermore, the premature sale of the publicly-owned landbank at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary to the developer of the proposed US fracked gas LNG import terminal, before any planning decision is made, has given Wes Edens the capacity to leverage, veto and undermine any competing alternative proposals from the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce  which was set up specifically as agreed in the Programme for Government  with the aim of stimulating economic activity "for those areas that were expecting economic development arising from new fossil-fuel infrastructure" - the LNG terminal area - when it reports back to the Tánaiste. This effectively means that if Shannon LNG actually gets planning permission with 2 LNG tankers at the mouth of the Estuary then Wes Edens can blockade, monopolise and sterilise the Estuary from further development.
  • Previous owner Paddy Power, originally from Tralee and now living in Dublin, and his family are reported to have received over US $16.7 million in a buyout deal from New Fortress Energy in 2020 and are due to receive another $9.9 million once the first gas is supplied to the proposed LNG terminal
  • Tanáiste Leo Varadkar, on February 24th, 2022, told the Dáil that the proposed LNG terminal "is not supported by the Government"
  • When the more than 600 acres of strategic public land in North Kerry were sold to Wes Edens’ Shannon LNG for €25 million in late 2021 after the new planning application for an LNG terminal was lodged in August 2021 by Shannon LNG, it was contrary to the official government policy on the importation of fracked gas published on May 18th, 2021.The policy statement declares that "Ireland imports much of its natural gas via the two interconnector pipelines from Moffat in Scotland, which provide the majority of natural gas currently used in Ireland. Given the level of fracked gas in the imports from Scotland is considered very low, the highest risk of fracked gas being imported into Ireland on a large-scale would be via liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, if any were to be constructed". The policy statement concludes that “pending the outcome of the review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems, it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with”.
  • Regarding the ongoing security of energy supply review, the Department for the Environment ordered that “any options identified must be in keeping with the commitments in the Programme for Government. This includes any policy statement that is developed to establish the approach to the Government’s stated commitment not to support the importation of fracked gas”. An Bord Pleanála has postponed a decision on the new planning application for  the proposed Shannon LNG terminal.
  • In a move expected to bring death by a thousand cuts for the Shannon LNG US fracked gas import project, the Irish Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications published the policy options it is proposing as part of its review of the Security of Energy Supply of Ireland's Electricity and Natural Gas Systems. Shannon LNG is not the preferred option and it is now widely expected that this should lead to An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission for the controversial fracked gas import  project in Tarbert, County Kerry.  At the very least, it is now impossible for An Bord Pleanála to legally make a decision in favour of Shannon LNG until the public consultation on the Energy Review options is completed in 2023 as that would be contrary to the existing government policy and preferred future policy.



Barrister John Kenny on how Shannon LNG is a breach of Human Rights Dublin 19 December 2019






Why was the US putting so much pressure on the EU to import US fracked gas even before the war in Ukraine?

The latest peer-reviewed scientific studies have found that one third of the total increased methane emissions from all sources globally, over the past decade, is coming from US fracked gas (shale gas).

 

With this backdrop, on December 20th, 2019, the US imposed sanctions on the German Nordstream2 pipeline being built to bring non-fracked gas directly from Russia under the Baltic sea to stop Russian gas competing with the US fracked gas imports into Europe

 

"Dig a well, Bring a soldier home" was a slogan in the USA several years ago when America was a net importer of gas. Now, with fracking (and over 1.7 million wells later and counting),  the U.S. has become a net exporter of fracked gas. The rush is on to find a new overseas market for U.S. methane before the fracking bubble bursts in the USA.

 

An Energy Plan to import fracked US gas into Europe was announced by President Juncker in July 2018 following his visit to President Trump in the USA through multiple LNG terminals and countries and imposed via the European Commission Projects of Common Interest (PCI) procedure. PCI accreditation from the European Commission is extremely powerful because any projects put on this list are allocated the status of "overriding public interest" in a special fast-track planning process in each Member State and are thus almost guaranteed development consent.  Currently it is proposed that 5 projects for LNG terminals in Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece and Poland be included on the latest 4th PCI list (out of a total of 14 that have received support from the EU since 2013). These projects, if built, will result in a massive increase in the use of US fracked gas and subsequent massive increase in methane emissions. However, the European Commission has never taken on board the Climate impacts of any of the fracked gas projects it has put on the PCI list even though it was legally obliged to do so.

 

This was followed on with a bill passed in U.S. House of Representatives  on March 25th, 2019  (the "European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019" ) that, if it becomes law,  would allocate hundreds of  millions of US dollars in federal funding over two years to public and private energy development projects in Europe and Eurasia, including LNG terminals, with the potential to use US gas - gas it now markets as "Freedom Gas".

The message from the NordStream2 sanctions is now clear for all to see that importing US fracked gas has nothing to do about bringing "freedom" gas to Europe. Rather, it is about locking Europe into buying US fracked gas for decades to come, with no consideration of the Climate impacts given that the US has signalled its intention to withdraw from the Paris Accord. The US is now using all its political, economic and diplomatic power to force Europe to buy its filthy fracked gas.  

 

 

The problem with Fracked Gas Imports: Methane Emissions - the Achilles' heel of natural gas

 

The focus of climate change mitigation actions (as opposed to Climate Adaptation) is to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which are driving climate change.

 

On Climate Mitigation grounds, European Fracked gas LNG import infrastructure cannot reasonably be expanded at Shannon, Cork and elsewhere throughout Europe because scientific evidence has found that purposeful and leaked/fugitive methane emissions from fracked gas is accelerating global warming with fracked gas imports having a carbon equivalent footprint 44% greater than coal over the full life cycle.

 

Amazingly, however, unlike the case for carbon dioxide, the Climate System responds quickly to a reduction in methane emissions and could provide the opportunity to immediately slow the rate of global warming by around half a degree celsius

schindell.png

Schindell et al, 2012

 

Because methane, with a half-life in the atmosphere of 12 years is faster acting than carbon dioxide, it means that an effective reduction in methane emissions in the short term would buy us some desperately needed time to do a complete reconstruction of our energy system. Methane reductions are critical and the Science is now clear that we will not reach our Paris Accord. target of keeping the planet well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline with CO2 reductions alone.

 

 

Given that the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies have found that one third of the total increased methane emissions from all sources globally over the past decade is coming from US fracked gas (shale gas) it is now clear that intense US pressure to find new overseas markets for its Methane from fracking - such as in The Trade Deal between the US and Europe in July 2018 which agreed an Energy Plan for Europe to build more terminals to import LNG from the US on a massive scale   - is no longer sustainable because the US is putting Trade before Climate.

 

Importing US fracked gas into countries which have banned fracking, like Ireland, amounts to "carbon leakage" because Europe does not count non-territorial emissions in its carbon budgets. On July 16th, 2019, in a major policy turnaround, EU Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen announced that she would "introduce a carbon border tax to avoid carbon leakage". Discussion of the non-territorial emissions from the importation of US fracked gas into Europe, the carbon leakage issue of the next decade, is currently being met with a total silence and a reckless refusal to engage by the  European Commission, but such refusal is more and more incompatible with a declared intention by President Von der Leyen to fight runaway global warming. Any new fossil gas infrastructure will amount to a fossil fuel lock in as the infrastructure would be there for the next 50 years at least and any rational person would have to accept that we are now at a crossroads where there must be a transparent evidence-based decision made on preventing fossil gas in the Irish and European Energy mix.  

 

Is gas cleaner than coal?

No. When burned, gas produces less carbon dioxide emissions than coal or diesel oil locally, but it is what is not burned - the purposeful (at least 0.8%) and leaked/fugitive (at least 2.6%) methane emissions over the full life cycle, the non-territorial emissions - that is causing the problem. Methane Emissions are the Achilles' heel of natural gas (natural gas is 95% Methane).  Fracking in the US, requiring hundreds of thousands of disposable wells to be dug, as opposed to conventional drilled gas for example, is causing the huge spike of one third of all global methane in the last decade -  methane which is not burned and therefore accelerating global warming by absorbing 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf chapter 8 page 714

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf  chapter 8 page 714

When politicians and the fossil fuel lobby speak about gas as a transitional fuel they obfuscate the impacts of purposeful and leaked/fugitive Methane emissions from fracking on the climate by making no distinction between unconventional/fracked/shale gas and conventional drilled gas. This is neither reasonable nor rational especially when reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere may reverse the rate of global warming.

 

Are there other impacts other than climate impacts?

Yes, Ireland passed the 'Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing Act 2017', banning fracking in Ireland in recognition of the health and climate impacts of exploiting shale gas reserves;

Locally, fracking poisons people (health) and creates environmental pollution. The process of fracking is harmful at source in the USA too, and it is hypocritical that we would recognise the harm in Ireland by banning fracking, but then create demand for it abroad by importing it.

 

 

Evidence that the proposed Shannon LNG project by 'New Fortress Energy" is for the Importation of Fracked US gas

Shannon LNG is being proposed as an LNG Import Terminal by its owners, New Fortress Energy, to receive fracked gas from the one of the world's largest natural gas fields, the Marcellus Shale Formation in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. However, comments by politicians and some individuals from public organisations that the sources of gas for the proposed Shannon LNG terminal have not been specified yet are attempting to cast doubt over this fact. We calculate that almost 100%  of the Gas in Pennsylvania is fracked gas since so-called conventional wells are also being drilled in shale and also need to be fracked. However, even if we take the more conservative approach of only unconventional wells being fracked, then it is still proven from official US figures that up to 97.85% of gas in Pennsylvania is fracked gas. This paper puts forward the evidence that Shannon LNG is a US fracked gas import project. This information comes from the following sources:

1.      From the Company itself and it’s company filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 9th, 2018 where

- New Fortress Energy tells the SEC that " Certain of our suppliers employ hydraulic fracturing techniques"

- New Fortress Energy tells the SEC "Increased regulation or difficulty in permitting of hydraulic fracturing, and any corresponding increase in domestic natural gas prices, could materially adversely affect demand for LNG and our ability to develop commercially viable LNG facilities"

- New Fortress Energy admits to the SEC that it  "seeks to use “stranded” natural gas to satisfy the world’s large and growing power needs”[…] “We are currently developing two liquefiers in the Marcellus area of Pennsylvania, each of which is expected to have the capacity to produce approximately 3 to 4 million gallons of LNG"

- New Fortress Energy tells the SEC " Shannon, Ireland – We have entered into an agreement to purchase all of the ownership interests in a project company that owns the rights to develop and operate an LNG terminal and a CHP plant on the Shannon Estuary near Ballylongford, Ireland [...] We intend to supply all existing and future customers with LNG produced primarily at our own Liquefaction Facilities. We have one operational liquefaction facility in Miami, are currently are currently developing our Pennsylvania Facilities and plan to develop five to ten additional liquefaction facilities over the next five years"


2.      From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 98.23% of Gas produced in Pennsylvania in 2018 was fracked gas

3.      From the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) at least 97.85% of Gas produced in Pennsylvania in 2018 was fracked gas

4.      From the Methane Life Cycle Scientist Professor Robert Howarth, Cornell University who informed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action on October 9th 2019 that “If Ireland were to import liquefied natural gas from the United States, it would largely be shale gas"

5.      From Richard Bruton, T.D., the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment himself who admitted on RTE Radio on May 10th 2019 that the gas coming from the US would be fracked gas

6.      From Business and Investment Media Reports on the Issue

7.      From Industry Analysis on the Issue

8.      From U.S. President Donald Trump on 23rd October 2019 who stated at the 9th Annual Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania " they won’t do any fracking in New York  [...] They don’t do it in New York.  Somebody, someday, will explain why. They do it in Pennsylvania.  They do it in Ohio."

 


 


EU Commission accused of breaking Climate laws on very day President announces European Green Deal

Environmental NGOs from the U.S. and Europe lodged appeals against the 4th PCI list approved by the European Commission on December 11th, 2019 via the formal Internal Review Process following shocking admissions by DG Energy that it deliberately turned a blind eye to the climate impacts of all Gas projects of common interest. The move brings into questions the legality of the special status given to the entire list of Gas projects of common interest, known as the PCI list.

 

The appeal was lodged following the shock written admission 5 days earlier by the Director General of DG Energy herself - Mrs Ditte Juul-Jorgensen – that  the Commission breached the EU  PCI Regulation by not evaluating climate impacts when assessing all the proposed gas PCI projects. This list includes the controversial Shannon LNG project being proposed for the large-scale importation of US fracked gas into Europe.  The Trans-Atlantic group of NGOs’ appeal raised the accusation that Trade Considerations for the importation of US fracked gas, as agreed by Presidents Trump and Juncker in July 2018, are dominating over Climate in the European Commission institutional mindset, forcing European Commission staff to illegally turn a blind eye to the disastrous Climate impacts of filthy fracked gas imports and blatantly commit discriminatory breaches of EU Regulations in the process.

 

 By law, the potential overall benefits of each proposed project of common interest must outweigh its costs and the criteria to make this assessment must include the Sustainability Criteria, which means reducing Emissions and Climate Impacts.  

 

The Director General claimed that the breach of EU Regulations will be fixed for future PCI lists but did not offer to do any climate impact assessment of the currently proposed PCI list it approved, and which is currently before the European Parliament, rendering the entire PCI list legally unsafe due to a serious discriminatory breach of the PCI Regulation by DG Energy.

 

The Climate activists were reacting to the latest peer-reviewed research which notes that Methane is a greenhouse gas 100 times more powerful than carbon-dioxide and that shale gas development in North America is the single largest driver of this increase in methane, accounting for one-third of the increase in global emissions from all sources.

 

The appeal comes on the very day that President Ursula Von der Leyen announced the adoption of the European Green Deal. How the Commission deals with the carbon leakage and non-territorial emissions of US fracked gas imports into Europe on a massive scale which leave a carbon footprint 44% greater than that of coal will quickly reveal whether the European Green Deal is to signal real actions or just aspirations.