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Facts against fracking as EU energy option - Harkin

Wednesday, 15th May, 2013 3:43pm

Facts against fracking as EU energy option - Harkin

Marian Harkin MEP with Mary-Jo Mullarkey of the Irish in Europe Association (International), and Geraldine Ring, Fracking Free Ireland Brussels Branch, following the event, Beyond the hype: The economics of shale gas in Europe, at the European Parliament yesterday (May 14).

Shale gas would only produce 2-3% of Europe’s future energy needs, a conference in Brussels heard yesterday.

MEP Marian Harkin was at the conference in the European Parliament, and she is challenging the notion that shale gas can supply a significant part of Europe’s gas needs.

Following Werner Zittel’s argument at the conference that shale gas would only produce between 2-3% of European energy needs, Ms Harkin expressed concern at the lack of a clear strategy by the EU energy commissioner.

“Just recently, Commission Oettinger said there was a possibility of shale gas supplying 10-15% of Europe’s energy needs in future, yet yesterday’s figures from the International Energy Agency, quoted by Werner Zittel, put that figure at 2-3%, significantly lower than Commission estimates,” she said.

She thinks that difference should have alarm bells ringing across European capitals.

The MEP said it would be nonsense for the EU commissioner to start enabling the process of fracking for shale gas if it did not have the potential to make a significant contribution to energy security and help guarantee lower gas prices.

“The evidence we heard from two experts (David Hughes and Werner Zittel) strongly challenged the hype surrounding shale gas as a genuine option for Europe’s much-desired energy security,” said Ms Harkin.

“It poses serious questions as to why any energy policy mix should include this new and expensive technology if there is not a reasonable return of gas supply.

“The EU and its individual member states have to make policy choices based on good evidence, and the analysis we heard today indicates that fracking should not be part of any sustainable energy mix for Europe,” the Ireland North and West MEP concluded.

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