Leo Varadkar has come under fire from American legend Cher over his fracking policies.
Fracking is a mining practice that involves drilling into the earth and firing a high-pressure water mixture into shale rock.
This procedure allows gas to be released from the rock and collected at the head of the well.
Supporters of fracking say it reduces oil prices and could help electricity production to become more environmentally friendly.
However, there are also a number of environmental problems with the process. Fracking was temporarily halted in the UK in 2011 over earth tremor fears and has also been blamed for two huge sink holes opening up in Texas.
Transporting huge amounts of water to the site also comes at an environmental cost and there is a risk that groundwater in the area could become contaminated with chemicals that could escape during drilling.
Despite the concerns, the Taoiseach has continually refused to condemn the practice. While fracking was banned in Ireland in 2017, Varadkar has refused to rule out importing fracked gas.
He said last week: “It’s already the case that fracked gas is coming into Ireland from the UK.”
His comments prompted a response from pop superstar Cher who joins other Hollywood stars such as Mark Ruffalo and Michael Moore in condemning the practice.
The star posted on her social media pages: “I know the Irish people don’t need actors and singers from Hollywood getting into their business but it’s because we care and we have had experience with the kind of people & companies who frack and sell the gas !!…”
Cher also posted an open letter from celebrities such as Ruffalo and Moore, as well as NGOs which urged the Irish government to reconsider its position on fracking.
The letter praises Ireland for showing ‘international leadership’ in 2017 when fracking was banned, but also accused the country of being hypocritical by continuing to import fracked gas.
Take a look at the letter below.
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I know the Irish people don’t need actors and singers from Hollywood getting into their business but it’s because we care and we have had experience with the kind of people & companies who frack and sell the gas !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajA5aYzSXig & https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/fs_1904_fortresslng-web.pdf
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling