Speak up on fracking
Next Wednesday, politicians will have the chance to question the Environmental Protection Agency about the controversial fracking study being carried out by pro fracking company CRM Smith. On Thursday it will be the turn of Alex White when he has to answer questions about Ireland’s energy policy. 
If fracking gets the go-ahead because of this questionable research it will be practically impossible to stop this controversial and dirty industry from getting a foothold in Ireland. 
Because thousands of us have kicked up a storm about the study, the EPA are being called into the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications to answer questions. The following day Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, will be answering questions about energy policy that is directly relevant to fracking.
There are 21 politicians on this committee and the clearer they are about how opposed we are to fracking, the stronger they will be when questioning both the EPA and Alex White. The EPA and Alex White know they are on shaky ground. They are justifying why the research tender was awarded to the a company with strong ties to the fracking industry. 
Objective science and research is very important when it comes to deciding policy. But the questions circling around this research project all underline the fear that it’s neither objective nor independent and will fail to address the health concerns of the public. 
The fracking industry is very rich and powerful but right across the world local communities are standing up and winning against them.  When politicians realise that people in Ireland are also standing up and fighting plans to introduce fracking they will get worried too. Many of the politicians on the committee discussing fracking next week are from areas that are already targeted for fracking if the government gives the nod to go ahead. 
The more critical they are when questioning the EPA and the Alex White next week, the stronger our changes are of undermining the independence and credibility of this research. Can you send them an email to tell them why they need to side with communities not the powerful fracking industry?
Picture: Anti-fracking protests outside Leitrim County Council in Carrick on Shannon in 2011. Brian Farrell