The 20th Ordinary Meeting of the 165th Session of the Literific took place on the 27th of March in the Senate Room and was attended by about 52 members. President Kydd was not present so yours truly was talking for quite a while. Katy Waller, yet again, won Just Three Minutes. Questions to the Council were heard from Andrew Carruthers, Torr Cogan, Brendan Kelters, Katy Waller and Jonny Finlay and mostly focused on my definition of the word breakfast. We then heard an opening address from our guest chair, Dr Jennifer McKinley, who explained the motion. The motion was This House Would Frack in Northern Ireland.
Dr Allister Ruffel opened the debate. He argued that no one source of energy will meet all our needs without a cost in money or to the environment. He explained how fracking works and that a good geological understanding was key.
Dawn Patterson, from No Fracking NI, opened for the opposition. She talked about how people living in fracked areas faced reductions in house values, tourism and farming as well as the effects it would have on the environment and our health. She mentioned the first instance of fracking in England and how that was a mess.
Dr Stephen Goss continued for the proposition. He said the Conservatives are against cancer, can’t remember why this was relevant. He said fracking wasn’t a question of whether we should or shouldn’t but that we need to because our demands are increasing and that renewable energy is currently not feasible. Then he went over 7 minutes and our guest chair decided to do what is now called ‘santa clausing’ where she rang the bell. Constantly.
Ross Brown, a Green Party MEP candidate, continued for the opposition. He said that there is a conflict in interest when it comes to fracking, that the people who promote it are the people who benefit from it. He said that research has been done showing leaking methane would have a greater effect on the environment than leaking CO2. He advised the House to reduce emissions and weigh up viability.
Aaron Beasant closed for the proposition. He asked what alternatives the proposition would provide, that renewable energy was not viable as you can’t gain energy from something so unpredictable. By fracking we could have a greater supply of energy and support our terrible economy.
Elli Kontorravdis, Green Party candidate for Balmoral, closed the debate. She said that regulation was nice and beautiful and wonderful and will solve all our problems but that the framework for fracking is not sufficient. She explained that the current system allows for abuse of power. She asked the House how we would hope to regulate fracking when well established means are not being regulated properly.
The motion then went to the floor. Points were heard from Nick Millington, Brendan Kelters, Andrew Carruthers, Connal Hughes and Mike Young. We then went to a vote. The motion was defeated by 15 abstentions, 7 ayes and 23 nayes.