Colreavy launches oil and gas legislation - Colreavy
Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will today launch the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill 2013.
Speaking on the bill, Deputy Colreavy said:
“This piece of legislation aims to address some key issues that have surrounded the debate on Irish natural resources for many years.
“The Corrib Gas Project has wreaked havoc and misery on the lives of communities in north Mayo. The interests of local people were bypassed in favour of big industry. This bill will seek to establish in law the need for public consultation and engagement with the local community by oil and gas companies before they are to be granted an exploratory licence.
“Fracking has been an issue of grave concern, especially in communities near the Lough Allen Basin. International experience has warned us of the potential dangers of this method of gas extraction, both on human health and on the wider environment. This legislation aims to ban unconventional methods of gas exploration and extraction.
“As Ireland aims to reduce its carbon emissions we must be mindful that renewable sources of energy are developed along with utilising our oil and gas sources. Renewable sources will become increasingly important in our energy security in coming years. Therefore it is the intention of this bill to ring-fence a section of the profits from our oil and gas for investment in renewable energy.
“Under the current licensing terms oil and gas extracted from Irish water does not have to be landed or processed in Ireland. This could result in many potential Irish jobs being lost. This legislation aims that all oil and gas found off Irish waters should be landed in the state. It also seeks to include a social clause to provide for local employment.
“However, the glaring issue remains the taxation levels from our natural resources. Under standing orders of the Dáil, I am unable to amend these in legislation. I call on Minister Pat Rabbitte to change the tax regime for oil and gas companies as recommended in a Joint Oireachtas Report on Offshore Oil and Gas. The Minister must increase the tax on small commercial discoveries to 40%, medium commercial discoveries to 60% and large commercial discoveries to 80%.
“Now is the time to rectify the licensing terms of oil and gas exploration in Ireland to help boost our economic recovery and to ensure energy security into the future.”