For Immediate Release
After a long legal battle, the Irish High Court issued a ruling that halts key planning permits for the Shannon gas terminal project owned by New Fortress Energy, a key destination for the company’s plan to export fracked gas from the United States.
The High Court decision, coupled with growing political opposition to the terminal project in Ireland and US fracked gas shipments in France and Germany, could present serious obstacles to New Fortress’ plan to build a new gas terminal in New Jersey that would export gas from Pennsylvania.
The group Friends of the Irish Environment had challenged a decision to extend the planning permits for the Shannon facility, which were first granted in 2008. On November 9, the High Court issued an order which quashes the existing permission; if New Fortress still seeks to build the terminal, it will now be required to start a completely new application process that would also be subject to a public consultation.
“The decision of the Irish High Court represents a major blow, and maybe the final nail in the coffin for the Irish LNG plans of New Fortress Energy,” said Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe.
There are growing political obstacles to the project as well. In June, the major political parties in Ireland voted to enter into a historic three-party coalition with the Green Party, endorsing a new program that would end support for the Shannon project and develop a policy to stop the imports of fracked gas altogether.
“The massive gas export terminal proposed for Gibbstown would drive more fracking in Pennsylvania, creating new sources of air and climate pollution. And that gas would be delivered to Gibbstown by rail or truck traffic, a dangerous and unprecedented plan that risks the health and safety of communities in South Jersey,” said Food & Water Action organizer Jocelyn Sawyer. “Ireland has decided that this scheme to import fracked gas is simply too dangerous. Governor Murphy should follow suit. He has the power to shut this down, and he must do so now.”