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22 TDs gather at gates of Dail to demand reversal of Corrib Gas Pipeline Consents

News Release - Issued by Dublin Shell to Sea
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

22 TDs GATHER AT GATES OF DAIL TO DEMAND REVERSAL OF CORRIB GAS PIPELINE CONSENTS

Twenty-two TDs gathered at the gates of Leinster House in Dublin today (Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011) to back Dublin Shell to Sea’s call for the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government and new Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte to overturn the consents granted by former minister Pat Carey’s to Shell E&P Ireland on the day of the recent general election.

The TDs who took part were:

SINN FÉIN
Gerry Adams; Caoimghín Ó Caoláin; Michael Colreavy; Jonathan O’Brien; Mary Lou McDonald; Aengus Ó Snodaigh; Seán Crowe; Peadar Tobin; Pearse Doherty; Pádraig MacLochlainn; Dessie Ellis; Sandra McLellan; Brian Stanley; Martin Ferris
 
UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE
Joe Higgins; Clare Daly; Richard Boyd Barrett; Joan Collins
 
INDEPENDENTS
Finian McGrath; Catherine Murphy; Maureen O'Sullivan; Thomas Pringle

PLEDGES OF SUPPORT (TDs who could not attend)
Independents - Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan
ULA: Seamus Healy

The consents relate to the onshore section of the Corrib gas pipeline and were issued despite High Court proceedings being initiated by An Taisce and Erris residents against last January's An Bord Pleanála decision to grant permission for the onshore section of the Corrib gas pipeline.

Speaking at the press conference, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins criticised Pat Carey’s decision, “these consents were issued in a highly dubious manner on the day of the recent general election. Pat Carey, who was only in the Department a matter of weeks, had no mandate to issue the consents to Shell. He was a cabinet minister in a government with minority support and it is scandalous that such a major decision relating to the state’s natural resources should be taken in this way.”

She called on the new Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources to overturn the consents issued by Pat Carey and to renegotiate the licencing terms offered to oil corporations, “Shell to Sea is calling on the new Minister Pat Rabbitte to overturn the consents issued for the Corrib gas pipeline. This remains an unsafe project and will accrue no benefit to the people of Ireland.”

“The state’s bizarre licencing terms ensures that Shell will pay little or no tax on the estimated €10 billion worth of gas in the Corrib field. The new Minister has an opportunity to lift the burden of cuts being heaped on working people by renegotiating the disastrous licencing terms and using the state’s vast reserves of oil and gas to invest in public services.” 

ENDS

FOR VERIFICATION AND COMMENT – CONTACT:

Caoimhe Kerins

 
NOTE TO EDITORS:

Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims:

1) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.

2) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary environmental, health and safety risks.

3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery. 

*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of gas and oil in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent).

Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south coast or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.