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For Immediate Release
Press Release March 26th 2024:


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Over 140 groups call on Eamon Ryan
to halt LNG plans

Open letter rejects Minister's claim that environmental groups agreed with proposed gas terminal

More than 140 environmental and civil society groups have reaffirmed their opposition to the building of “any kind of LNG terminal in Ireland”, rejecting a claim made by Minister Eamon Ryan last year that “environmental NGOs” had “no issue” with his proposal to build a “State-led strategic” gas facility.  

In an open letter published today, organisations from across Ireland and around the world, as well as TDs, Senators, MEPs and Councillors, have called on the Minister to halt plans for an LNG terminal he announced last November when publishing an Energy Security Strategy.

The letter points out that the proposed terminal is “almost identical” to the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) previously proposed by Shannon LNG.

When publishing the strategy in November, Minister Ryan was quoted as saying he "had flagged 'the State-led strategic store' to his party and to environmental NGOs and there was no issue about it”.

Today’s open letter to Minister Ryan makes it very clear that many environmental groups have a big issue with his plan to build a floating LNG facility and that it will be met with strong environmental opposition.

Friends of the Irish Environment, whose High Court challenge to Shannon LNG’s planning permission extension was successful in 2020, commented in the open letter: “This NGO never agreed!

Signatories of the letter include representatives from Fianna Fáil, the Green Party, Sinn Féin, Labour, People Before Profit, the Socialist Party, Right to Change, An Rabharta Glas and Independents for Change. Other signatories of the letter include Human Rights lawyer Dr Maeve O’Rourke and Professor John Barry from Queen's University Belfast.

Also signing the open letter were several US groups who experience first-hand the effects that fracking has caused in their community. Barbara W Brandom MD, from  Concerned Health Professionals of Pennsylvania, commented: “Don't allow LNG into your country. Give us in Pennsylvania a path to recovery from the devastation that we see. As long as the industry is expanding, the harm it brings to us will get worse and worse.”

The Protect PT (Penn-Trafford) group said: “Our organization is located in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 76% of the gas fracked in our communities is exported, and much of that goes to Europe. They frack under our waterways. They frack under our parks. We endure some of the worst air quality on the continent of North America. We’re fighting for our lives, but the only way it stops is if other countries stop buying this gas. This proposed LNG terminal’s impact would be measured in bodies.

In recent weeks, having lost all permissions last September for both an LNG terminal and power station, Shannon LNG confirmed it had begun a pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála regarding a proposal for a new LNG facility on the Shannon estuary, which it said was in line with Minister Ryan’s proposals in the Energy Security Strategy. In November, the company already separately completed pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála for a new 600MW power plant on the site, in which it confirmed that it would lose the €3.5 million deposit it paid Eirgrid for 373MW of auction capacity it was awarded in April 2023 if the power station does not get planning permission by the 4th of November 2024.

New Fortress Energy last week also released a video showing plans for the fracked gas import terminal the company is seeking to build.

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Screengrab from New Fortress Energy proposal promotion video

New Fortress Energy has previously been very explicit that the gas it would ship to Ireland would be fracked gas, telling the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): “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 developing our Pennsylvania Facilities and plan to develop five to 10 additional liquefaction facilities over the next five years."

In April last year 200 groups wrote to Minister Ryan calling on him not to do an LNG U-turn and reminding him that, before entering Government, he had called the Shannon LNG project “a climate change issue of the first order”.


The letter is still accepting further signatures from groups and may be signed at the following address: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeBd64I3xsOaYqnkeyVgW7I3bIEgwwWErc6juc6tj_BUl5qnw/viewform?pli=1


ENDS
NOTES to Editor:

1. This is the open Letter:
Open Letter to Minister for Energy, Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party
against any kind of LNG terminal in Ireland
March 2024

Dear Minister Ryan,  

We do not support the building of any kind of LNG terminal in Ireland and we are calling on you to halt the LNG proposal you announced in November, with the publication of the Energy Security Strategy. Now is not the time to change policy by facilitating the introduction of LNG into the Irish energy mix, undoing all the progress made with the ban on fracking and the ban on the importation of fracked gas.


The Energy Security Strategy now supports building an LNG terminal in Ireland which is almost identical to the floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) proposed by Shannon LNG. The only difference is the claim that it would be a strategic, non-commercial, temporary, backup LNG terminal that would only be used in the event of an emergency. Within days, Green Party TD Brian Leddin had pointed out how the area around the Shannon LNG site would be one of the “prime candidates” for locating the strategic LNG terminal and New Fortress Energy had even offered the company's Shannon LNG site to be used to build the strategic LNG terminal.


Minister Ryan, you are quoted as saying on the day you proposed building an LNG facility in the Energy Security Strategy that you "had flagged 'the State-led strategic store' to [your] party and to environmental NGOs and there was no issue about it". However, we do have an issue with any kind of LNG terminal being built in Ireland. Following media reports in April 2023 that you were mulling a Green policy U-turn on commercial LNG, 200 groups wrote an open letter to you stating  “We are deeply concerned about the recent article published in the Sunday Business Post on April 9th, which suggested that Green Party policy banning fracked gas terminals may be reversed, and we are calling on you to confirm that this is not the case”. Friends of the Earth Ireland had a simultaneous online petition stating that  "a U-turn on LNG would be a fatal betrayal of the climate movement".


The policy against the importation of fracked gas you published on May 18th, 2021, clearly states that “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”.


We do not support the building of any kind of LNG terminal in Ireland. We call on you to stop progressing a strategic backup LNG terminal in Ireland in your Energy Security Strategy and call on you to maintain the historic world’s first ban on the importation of fracked gas at this critical time.


2. This is a Briefing Document prepared by Safety Before LNG and Love Leitrim in response to  Minister Ryan’s proposal last November to build an Irish LNG Fracked Gas Import Terminal.


3. Contact:
Safety Before LNG, County Kerry  www.SafetyBeforeLNG.ie
(Contact: John McElligott - Tel.: 087-2804474 - Email: SafetyBeforeLNG@hotmail.com )

Love Leitrim, County Leitrim  https://twitter.com/love_leitrim  
(Contact: LoveLeitrim@gmail.com;  Eddie Mitchell Tel.: 087-2239972 Email:  eddiejmitchell@gmail.com ) 

FutureProof Clare, County Clare  https://www.facebook.com/futureproofclare/    Email:FutureproofClare@gmail.com

Slí Eile: https://www.facebook.com/SliEile.action/ Email: SliEile@Riseup.net  











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