The Programme for Government set out that the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas and committed to developing a policy statement to establish that approach. On 18 May, the Government approved Policy Statement on the Importation of Fracked Gas was published.
There was a thorough and comprehensive consideration by my Department of all aspects of regulation and legislation permissible under Irish and EU law in considering the approach taken, in addition to consultation with the Office of the Attorney General. In the context of European Union Treaties and the laws governing the internal energy market, it is considered that a legal ban on the importation of fracked gas could not be put in place at this time.
The policy statement commits the Government to work with like-minded European States to promote and support changes to European energy laws in order to allow the importation of fracked gas to be restricted. It also sets out that the Government will work with international partners to promote the phasing out of fracking at an international level within the wider context of the phasing out of fossil fuel extraction.