"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Issued by Mayo Shell to Sea - May 30th, 2012
Pat Rabbitte and Shell MD speak at Croke Park energy industry conference
Today, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte was confronted by a number of Shell to Sea campaigners outside Croke Park, after he had finished addressing an energy industry conference. The conference was also addressed by Shell Ireland Managing Director Michael Crothers and featured discussion on the future sell off of the State’s energy assets.
On leaving the conference Pat Rabbitte was confronted by the campaigners and accused of betraying Ireland’s interests, in particular regarding his decision last October to issue exploration licences for 250,000sq km of the Atlantic shelf, despite an ongoing Oireachtas committee review of oil and gas terms.
The Oireachtas committee has since issued it’s report and stated that Ireland’s deal on oil and gas “is generous in comparison to that of other countries” and recommended setting the tax-take to a minimum of 40% and up to 80%. Currently for Corrib the tax take is set at 25% after all costs have been written off. 
Banners at the protest included “Pat Rabbitte guilty of economic treason”, “Thieves” and “Shell’s Pet Rabbitte”.
Speaking from Croke Park, Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “Previous Labour party leader Dick Spring was the first to use the phrase ‘economic treason’ to describe the giveaway of Irelands oil and gas, but what Pat Rabbitte is doing is every bit as treasonable as what Fianna Fail ever did.”
“Pat Rabbitte still hasn’t told the public what he thinks of the Oireachtas committee’s finding that Ireland’s oil and gas terms are far too generous, yet he’s willing to tell the energy industry his views at a conference that costs €1,000 to attend. If he really cared for the people of Ireland who are facing years of austerity cuts, he would have taken time to answer our questions rather than driving away shamefaced.”
Maura Harrington stated “Pat Rabbitte has shown contempt for democracy and unless the terms are changed has cost this country billions.”
The Energy Ireland conference was also addressed by Bord Pleanala chairperson Mary Kelly whose address was entitled “Planning for energy projects: Key issues”. Mary Kelly previously appeared in the first promotional video for Corrib made in 2001, when she worked with IBEC.
Campaigner infront of Pat Rabbitte's car as he addresses Energy conference
For more information contact:
 Energy Ireland Conference - http://www.energyireland.ie/
 Rabbitte’s rush to give away offshore rights could cost us billions - Colm Rapple - Irish Mail on Sunday - http://colmrapple.com/?p=167
 Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture report - http://www.shelltosea.com/
 Pictures available on www.shelltosea.com
The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:
1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.
2) 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.
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 recoverable oil and gas 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 & east coasts 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.