The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
'We've Made History': Ireland Joins France, Germany and Bulgaria in Banning Fracking
The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016 now awaits Irish President Michael D. Higgins' signature. The president is expected to sign it into law "in the coming days."
The Emerald Isle will join three other European Union member states, France, Germany and Bulgaria that have banned the practice on land.
Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin introduced the private member's bill—meaning it was not introduced by the government—last year. The bill passed Ireland's Parliament in May.
'We've made history," McLoughlin tweeted after the vote and called it one of the "proudest moments in my political career."
McLoughlin also issued a statement that mentioned the impact of fracking in the U.S.:
This law will mean communities in the West and North West of Ireland will be safeguarded from the negative effects of hydraulic fracking. Counties such as Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Clare will no longer face negative effects like those seen in cities and towns in the United States, where many areas have now decided to implement similar bans to the one before us.
If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland it would pose significant threats to the air, water and the health and safety of individuals and communities here.
Fracking must be seen as a serious public health and environmental concern for Ireland.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth Ireland celebrated the bill's passage.
"A day to celebrate. A day for #ClimatePride. The Irish parliament has passed a law to #BanFracking. Here's to a #FossilFree future," the group tweeted:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.
By Tara Lohan
It's been the wettest 12 months on record in the continental United States. Parts of the High Plains and Midwest are still reeling from deadly, destructive and expensive spring floods — some of which have lasted for three months.
Mounting bills from natural disasters like these have prompted renewed calls to reform the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by Federal Emergency Management Agency and is now $20 billion in debt.