As a staunch environmental activist and the actor behind recent incarnations of The Hulk in the Avengers movie series, Mark Ruffalo is used to pulling on a green face.
Now the US actor has taken the fight against hydraulic fracturing to the Emerald Isle, taking to the air waves on Irish radio recently in an attempt to wreck plans for the Shannon LNG liquefied natural gas development on the country’s south-west coast.
"The reason that I oppose the Shannon LNG terminal is because you'll be getting your fracked gas from the United States,” the star of Spotlight and Foxcatcher said on The Tonight Show last week.
Shannon LNG has planning permission for a liquefied natural gas terminal with output capacity of up to 28.3 million cubic metres per day of gas, four LNG storage tanks of 200,000 cubic metres each, a jetty and a 500-megawatt combined heat and power plant.
A diagram on the company’s website indicates gas could be shipped from the US Gulf, Russia and through the Suez Canal from Asia.
"I've been fighting against fracking, hydrofracking and the poisoning of our communities for the last ten years, and I'm here to tell you that the gas that you'll be getting is harming people here and killing them,” Ruffalo said.
The Hulk is not the only one enraged by the plans, as Ireland’s National Trust, An Taisce, said last week a green light from the government “would be a profoundly retrograde step and would be totally at odds with both our climate targets and Ireland’s existing national ban on fracking”.
Ireland has banned fracking and has recently looked to stop issuing new offshore oil and gas exploration licences, while also moving away from peat as a domestic energy source in an attempt to achieve a greener energy mix.
“The notion of opening a massive terminal to facilitate the import of fracked gas from the US after Ireland has introduced a domestic ban on gas fracking defies all logic and flies in the face of expert scientific advice regarding emissions reductions,” An Taisce said.
The project has been listed as one of strategic importance to Ireland, which has also led to criticism in some quarters.
Minister for Climate Action & Environment, Richard Bruton, has promised the government will not support a grant application from the project to the European Union until “a security of supply review has been completed and considered by the Government and by the Dail (Ireland’s Parliament)”.