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FOI reveals Government met Oil and Gas lobby 50 times in last two years over new licenses – Stanley

11 July, 2019 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has today discovered through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that the Government has met with the Oil and Gas lobby 50 times in the last two years regarding new drilling and exploration licences.

Speaking earlier today, Deputy Stanley said:

“It is absolutely farcical that we have a Government driving around on hybrid double-decker buses launching climate action plans when behind closed doors its meeting with the Oil and Gas lobby on an almost fortnightly basis around new drilling licenses.

“The FOI which I submitted has revealed to us today that the Government has met with the Oil and Gas lobby at least 50 times in the past two years. And the FOI also revealed that 49 of those meetings were with regard to new drilling and exploration licences.

“It’s bad enough that Fine Gael is doing its utmost to block a number of progressive pieces of climate action legislation such as our Microgeneration Bill and Deputy Brid Smith’s ‘Keep it in the Ground Bill’.

“However, it’s even worse that that this Government is pro-actively going out of its way to meet with the Oil and Gas lobby on such a regular basis to ramp up the extraction of our fossil fuels.

“A question must also be asked whether these regular meetings between Fine Gael and what is quite a powerful and well-oiled lobby group have anything to do with the fact that a spurious money message has been slapped on Brid Smith’s Bill which would prohibit any new contracts being granted.

“Fine Gael can launch all the climate action documents they want; the reality is that this FOI blows their climate credibility to bits.

“Sinn Féin’s position is clear, we believe that we are in the middle of a climate crisis and we want to see an end to oil and gas exploration. Anything else would be climate suicide.” 

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