Jessica Ernst Submission to “No Fracking Fermanagh” (Northern Ireland) Petition

To sign the Petition yourself:

Subject Line: Petroleum Licence Application PLA2/16

Dear Sir / Madam

I object to the application for a petroleum licence by Tamboran Resources (UK) – PLA2/16.

I have lived frac’d in Rosebud Alberta Canada for 15 years now, it’s horrid to lose my safe water supply after Encana illegally fractured right into it, with nothing but enabling and cover-up from the regulators and politicians.

There are endless other awful impacts that frac’ing brings:

Relentless noise;

Road destruction;

Air Pollution;


Constant toxic waste dumping on foodlands, in water ways, and down sewer drains/systems, etc;

Drinking water pollution and or complete loss of water supplies, regardless of whether hydrocarbon, water, CO2, H2S (sour gas) or N2 fracs, or mixed fracs are used;

Endless health impacts;

Financial ruin to the counties, cities, and communities that fall for the lies and promises, and allow fracing in;

Massive harm to existing multibillion dollar making industries, and losses of small farms and other local businesses;

The only way to keep your communities, counties, families, water, lands, air and food safe is to say no to fracking.

It is impossible for companies to do it safely, or even right, because executives of frac’ing companies have admitted they do not know what they are doing, and many fracs go wrong.

No regulation or law can make fracking responsible or safe, no matter what company, except to criminalize it.

Be conservative and safe: Keep fracing out!

For more information refer to the nearly 10,000 posts and media files on my website:

Sincerely, Jessica Ernst
Box 753 Rosebud Alberta Canada
T0J 2T0

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Ernst <email hidden; JavaScript is required>
Box 753
Co. Fermanagh

[Refer also to:

Investigative Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk’s Slick Water

2019 07 03: Overview of International Human Rights Court Recommending Worldwide Frac Ban

2019 07 02: WOW! AMAZING! UK: Conservative Environmental Network Manifesto calls for Frac Ban

2019 05 06: The growing problem of oil and gas companies not paying local taxes or landowners

2016 11 15: Farmers on the hook for oilpatch’s unpaid bills, Relationship fraying between Alberta farmers and energy companies

2015 10 15: What happens when communities firmly and loudly say “NO!” to fracing and the endless fraud that goes with it? Canadian company Rathlin Energy pulls out of Northern Ireland!

2016 03 16: Will Albertans ever learn? Canada’s biggest oil producers, including Cenovus (Encana), hoarding near-record pile of cash

2015 03 05: Art Berman: Shale Plays Have Years, Not Decades & The way of greed: Oil and gas companies face their creditors as Fracking Bubble Bursts (FUNNY!)

2013 03 27: ‘The Shale Gale Is a Retirement Party’, So concludes an expert analyst of the natural gas boom. Brace for bust

2012 08 28: The Natural Gas ‘Ponzi Scheme’

2017 Jessica Ernst UK Speaking Tour

2017: Ernst presentation in Malton, UK

October 12, 2017: Poster of Ernst’s UK speaking tour in Flynn’s Butcher Shop, Main Street Black Lyon, Co Cavan, Ireland.

Photo by Andi Christine Bednarzig posted with permission from the butcher and photographer

2014 08 16: The People of the Emerald Isle vs Tamboran & Fracing: VICTORY! They made it by….

2014 08 01: Belcoo, Northern Ireland: Tamboran accused of “an act of aggression” at an emergency meeting of Leitrim County Council; Unanimous vote to seek intervention to end Tamboran’s drilling

2012 08 16: Tamboran Resources executive meets with Manor Business Forum

2011 08 10: Tamboran’s claims of chemical free frack fluid challenged by expert

2017 06 11: Irish Cattle & Sheep Association welcomes ban on fracking, “Fracking offers no tangible benefits to landowners or rural communities. It provides no upside for farmers but potentially a lot of downside….”

2016 05 28: Concerned Health Professionals Ireland call for frac ban: ‘Extremely strong” evidence fracking harms human health

2015 09 30: Fracking banned in Northern Ireland!

2014 08 03: Belcoo, Northern Ireland: Anti-fracking tractor run attracts 140 vehicles

2014 07 21: From Denton Texas to Northern Ireland: Fermanagh Protest, the day the Frackers Came, July 21st 2014

2014 01 17: Front Page: Leitrim County Coucillors, Republic of Ireland, vote to ban fracking

2013 09 30: Northern Ireland agriculture minister ‘to block fracking’ on department land

2013 08 19: Politicians avoiding tough questions on fracking issue, While the shale gas mantra focuses on jobs, cheap energy and recovery, the evidence contradicts these claims

2013 06 07: Film premiere ‘Fracking in Fermanagh’ outlines ‘devastating’ effects of fracking on rural communities

The division of rural communities is one of the worst effects of fracking, a Fermanagh audience heard on Tuesday night. In a new film called ‘Fracking in Fermanagh what could it mean?’, Canadian environmental scientist Jessica Ernst, who has experienced fracking near her farm in Alberta for the past 10 years, says: “I thought not being able to trust my drinking water was the worst affect of fracking but it’s the division of the community. The promise of money to some makes them obedient. I have witnessed heartbreaking betrayals on neighbours. Rural communities no longer take care of themselves as they used to. Whereas before they could fix the roof of their community centre themselves, now they are running to the company looking for money. There’s a loss of pride.” She also warns farmers of the “dire impact” of fracking, saying: “Be careful what you believe. Farmers in Alberta had to fight for the money they were promised.”

[And many Canadian farmers and counties are currently coping with companies not paying rent, walking from their contracts and not cleaning up!]

In addition, farmers in Alberta were left liable for the gas mitigation from frack sites, meaning they could not use the land once the frackers left, but were still responsible for the clean up. This, and other stark messages were made in the film which was made by 15 local students (aged 9-22), facilitated by Enniskillen’s Development Media Workshop, and part-funded by Fermanagh District Council. It was dedicated to the memory of the late Josh Gallagher who had been involved with the film. 

The Ardhowen Theatre was sold out on Tuesday night with gasps and angry exclamations heard in reaction to what was shown on screen.

The film narrator explains that Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster was approached twice for an interview but declined. This was met by boos and shouting from the crowd. During a panel discussion after the film, Enniskillen actor Ciarán McMenamin said: “It’s good to see that our young people have our interests at heart, even if our politicians do not.” Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildrenew stated that “Sinn Féin will use every legislative measure available north and south of the border to stop Fracking.” She added: “Fracking will turn Fermanagh into an absolute sh**ehole.” 

The young film-makers interviewed farmers, fishermen, tourism providers, ecologists, doctors, young people and politicians. International perspectives on fracking were given by Jessica Ernst and Dr Eilish Cleary, Chief Medical Officer for Health, New Brunswick, Canada, both of whom have spoken at public events in Fermanagh earlier this year. The majority of Fermanagh folk are not aware of the magnitude of what fracking involves, the audience heard.

Tamboran Resources plans to create 60 fracking pads in Fermanagh (each pad will be about seven acres in size, and concreted), one mile apart, covering 40,000 acres. “This will have a terribly detrimental affect” on Fermanagh changing it from a scenic, rural area into a heavily industrialised zone dotted with frack pads, the audience heard.

During the film, local farmer John Sheridan, who lives in the shadow of Cuilcagh mountain, says that chemicals brought up from deep underground during the fracking process are very likely to spill into our ground water, thereby leaking into our lakes and rivers and subsequently into our food chain. These chemicals could also evaporate from ponds on the frack sites, causing air pollution. He is backed up by Jessica Ernst who says: “They are bringing up unknowns that have been locked underground for millennia,” including naturally occurring heavy metals and radioactive materials such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, thorium and uranium (all carcinogens which can cause cancer and respiratory diseases in humans). Air may also be contaminated by volatile chemicals released during drilling (combustion from machinery and transport) and from other operations, during methane separation or by evaporation from holding ponds, Jessica Ernst points out. John Sheridan concludes: “Farming or fracking; it’s going to be one or the other.”

A major problem is fracking waste, the film continues. This wastewater not only contains the toxic and hazardous chemicals used in fracking fluid but also contains contaminants that it picks up from deep within the earth, most notably heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, salty brine and radioactive materials. “In Alberta, money was given to farmers to spread this waste on their land,” Jessica Ernst says. 

Photos of this waste spreading process were met by gasps of shock by the audience. “What becomes of the drilling waste is a big hole in the story that fracking companies are not telling us,” she states.

Belcoo father-of-five Sean Sweeney tells film-makers that he needs to feed his family so he was initially happy to hear of the potential fracking jobs coming to Fermanagh. However, after researching the process, he says: “No way. These people are dealing with toxic waste and chemicals. Why would I expose myself and my family to that?” He says if Fermanagh allows Tamboran to frack, locals will have ruined the landscape for future generations and will have noone to blame but themselves. He received laughs and applause when he quipped that the new Ulster Way brochures would have to state: “Here’s your gas mask, mind the lorries and enjoy your walk!”

Terry McGovern Chairman of the Lough Melvin Anglers Association is worried about copious amounts of water being taken from Lough Melvin and then pumped back in. “What state is it going to be in?” He worries that the approximate 700-800 jobs in the local fishing industry could be jeopardised if fracking gets the go-ahead. Local caver Tim Fogg takes viewers to St. Patrick’s Holy Well in Belcoo where water rises from an underground spring at 45 litres per second. He points out that very little is known about where these springs originate, adding: “It doesn’t add up that you can just move into the area and drill without knowledge of the hydrology of the area.”

2013 02 01: Fermanagh meeting hears of ‘fracking health risk’

2013 01 12: Northen Ireland bans fracking until environmental tests are carried out

2012 12 31: Richard Moorman: Notes from the Shale Gas Trenches

2012 12 28: ‘No backing for fracking’ in Northern Ireland

2012 11 05: Warning over social downsides of fracking

2012 10 12: State geologist questions fracking firm’s data

2012 03 06: “The EPA can’t assess fracking in Leitrim” – Jessica Ernst

2012 03 06: Jessica Ernst packs hall at Ballroom of Romance

2012 02 24 Jessica Ernst Packs Hall at Ballroom of Romance Leitrim County Republic of Ireland

They used to come from far and wide on bicycles to the iconic Ballroom of Romance, in its heyday in the 1950′s according to my aunt who went there. But this was no social outing that saw a full house of up to 350 people on Friday 24th February spilling out the door. Local men in the doorway strained to hear the words of the speaker as if their lives depended on it.

This was part of a series of lectures by Jessica Ernst around the North West. This one was organised by the local community with Cllr Sean Mc Dermot [now Chair of Leitrim County Council] introducing and Mary Daly Chairing. Jessica Ernst had been invited to give first hand testimony of her experiences with the gas industry, in Alberta Canada. One by one this amicable scientist exploded myths rolled out by the gas companies through statistical evidence that she had compiled over the years, on what she called the “fracing experiment’ that has become hers and her communities life.

She had learnt alot about promises, and knows now not to take the promises made by gas industry and regulators at face value.

Rural people tend to be “gentle and trusting,” she said and they preyed on this. Many of these promises had an all too familiar ring to them in light of the proposed and controversial granting of licences to the gas industry in the area she held the podium…. Albertans were now beginning to stand up and speak out and she no longer was on her own. Visible resistance by farmers more obvious with trucks painted with antifracking slogans. The National Farmers Union representing thousands of farmers across Canada were as of 23rd of February 2012 calling for a moratorium. They speak up for those whose water has been polluted that have been gagged shouting about it because of confidentiality agreements signed with the companies.

The men at the door were straining as if there lives depended on it, because it did. It would be their turn now to speak out.

Slide from Ernst’s 2012 presentation in Glenfarne, Co Leitrim

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