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Issue No. 3 - March 1, 2013

1. Shale Gas and Climate Change

Fracking - Climate Change

Is shale gas a "bridge fuel" that will ease the transition from fossil fuels to renewables? Not if the methane emissions are taken into account.

Methane (CH4) is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. In the first peer-reviewed paper on methane emissions from shale gas production, published in 2011, Robert Howarth et al (Cornell University) showed that, with methane emissions of up to 8% of production, unconventional shale gas production may even be dirtier than coal in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent US study performed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that methane escaping into the atmosphere from gas installations in Colorado were even higher than the estimates of the Howarth study, at 9% of total production.

Here is an excellent article on the implications of the NOAA research, which concludes that shale gas is a "bridge to nowhere".

The American EPA has revealed that natural gas and oil production is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

2. To Frack or Not to Frack?

No Guinea Pigs

Enegi Oil has announced  that it has applied to the DCENR for an exploration license in the Clare Basin, despite information presented by three Irish geologists at a public meeting in Kilkee, Co. Clare, which indicates that the Clare shale is too old to contain gas.

Minister Pat Rabbitte has confirmed that his department has received applications for exploration licenses from two companies. The second company is presumed to be Tamboran, which holds a license option for the Lough Allen Basin.

Minister Rabbitte has also received numerous copies of an Application Not to Frack Ireland, sent to him by citizens who prefer to keep Ireland fracking free. This was an initiative proposed by Love Leitrim.


3. Reminders for early March

As announced in SGBI Issue No. 2, Jessica Ernst will be in Ireland and the UK for a speaking tour in early March. Not to be missed!

Jessica's presentation schedule is as follows:
  • Saturday 2nd March, presentation of “Fracking Community” in Leitrim Village Community Center, Leitrim Village, near Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim,  7pm
  • Monday 4th March, presentation of “Fracking Community” in the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare, at 8pm
  • Wednesday  6th March, Peter Froggatt Center, Queens University, Belfast, 7pm
  • Thursday 7th March- United Reformed Church, St George's Rd. St Anne's, Lancs. , FY8 2AE
  • Friday 8th March, Balcombe Church of England Primary School, London Road, Balcombe, RH17 6HS  8pm to 10pm
  • Sunday 10th March, Our Natural Resources - Not for Sale. Organised by Save Our Seafront and supported by An Taisce and other organisations. Jessica Ernst will speak at this event. 11.30 to 6.00 in the Gresham Hotel on O'Connell Street
  • Monday 11th March,  NUI Maynouth, 1pm Room to be confirmed
  • Monday evening, 11th March, to be hosted by FOE, time and venue TBC


Also, as announced in SGBI Issue No. 1, March 8th is the deadline for submissions regarding the Terms of Reference for the study that the EPA is planning on the environmental impacts of unconventional shale gas exploration and extraction.

Issue No. 2     February 15, 2013

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