Fracking is a relatively new process used by the gas exploration industry in order to extract gas from geological areas of shale deposits. Until recently I wasn't aware that I lived in such a geological area myself. Two companies have been granted an onshore petroleum license in my local region.
So what do we get out of it as a community? The two companies granted licenses are not Irish based so Ireland will not benefit from the profits. It seems the jobs created are highly specialised and so employment levels of any real significance will be not be gained here. Indeed, two very important areas of employment in the region are tourism and agriculture. Both of these are likely to suffer a significant blow even if the fracking goes without a hitch. Who would want to visit a landscape dotted with massive concrete extraction pads every couple of kilometres, toxic settlement ponds and rig towers? The thousands of lorries that would trundle along the local roads would not exactly be a picture of peace and tranquility.
You might ask what I mean't when I mentioned the word 'hitch' in the previous paragraph. Well it doesn't take too long when you google the word Fracking to find a lot of concern about very serious environmental issues surrounding it. After weighing up both the evidence of environmental pollution and it's possible threat to life and considering the as yet unknown long term impacts (as this is a very new technology) other countries and regions have banned the process. Polluted ground water will find it's way into waterways, humans, plants and animals. Polluted water travelling from the North West of Ireland along the River Shannon flows through many other regions before it reaches the ocean 386km from its source. That means whatever happens will impact not only the people on the fracking doorstep.
I'm only just scratching the surface here on the issue. If you'd like to find out more about Fracturing watch a movie called Gaslands, click to watch the trailer or have a look on the What The Frack website. For a balanced view also see what Tamboran have to say, perhaps you'll feel that maybe Fracking is a good thing. Or an informative Drivetime short radio documentary. Take your pic and share your thoughts....