Michael Colreavy TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural resources has welcomed the government’s publication of the Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland.
Speaking following the launch, Deputy Colreavy said:
“Sinn Féin has continuously called for a national strategy for energy in Ireland to be formulated, and the publishing of this green paper is a welcomed step.
“A glaring issue surrounding the entire debate about energy policy, including wind farms, pylons, fracking and oil and gas exploration, has been the lack of a national strategy.
“Sinn Féin will be making a detailed submission on the green paper.
“Energy policy must be led by government and not by energy companies and vested interests.
“The controversy about the erection of industrial wind turbines, especially in the midlands region, sparked protest from local communities who felt their concerns were not being listened to.
“Sinn Féin published the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill in order to impose proper regulation of the construction of wind turbines.
“The bill also curtailed the export of renewable energy while Ireland is so dependent on imported fossil fuels.
“This legislation was allowed to pass to committee stage by government and we hope that it is brought before the committee as a priority.
“This bill will form part of Sinn Féin submission on the green paper along with addressing other forms of renewable energy.
“It is clear that all forms of renewable energy must be investigated and all possibilities explored.
“Fracking is a major concern, especially to residents of the Lough Allen Basin.
“Sinn Féin opposes the use of fracking anywhere on the island of Ireland as we believe that is unsafe method of energy production, and would damage the health of local residents, the environment, agriculture and tourism
“Offshore oil and gas must be investigated as means of future energy production.
“Ireland has potentially significant resources of petroleum in the seabed off our coast and the current review of the state’s revenue from these resources should form part of the energy debate.
“While Sinn Féin accepts that upgrade of the energy network must take place, this should not trump the rights of local communities.
“The current plans for the expansion of pylons across the country are under review and we call on the minister to look at all possibilities for the undergrounding of these cables.
“The publishing of this green paper is welcomed but much more needs to be done to guarantee sustainable, secure energy for Ireland into the future.”