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Rural TDS introduce Dáil Motion to end ‘purely bogus and politically-induced’ ban on Irish gas and oil exploration

The Rural Independent Group will today introduce a Dáil motion they say will “deliver Irish Energy Security”.

It comes as the group of TDs claimed that Ireland’s reliance on imported energy in the midst of a deepening energy crisis is “entirely self-inflicted by a government captured by activist Green Party views, fully supported by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael”.

The Rural Independents Group have warned that such dependency will endanger national security, energy and independence.

The Rural Independent Group comprises Michael Collins, Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins, Carol Nolan, Michael Healy-Rae and Danny Healy-Rae.

In a statement ahead of the introduction of the motion, Deputy Michael Collins said the government’s current policy position renders Ireland heavily energy import-dependent and cannot be sustained.

“It is completely unsustainable for the government’s energy policy position to continue, which barricades Ireland into a position of being the most energy import-dependent country in Europe, with zero storage capabilities and almost complete reliance on one United Kingdom (UK) pipeline for our gas”, the Cork South West Independent TD said.

The Rural Independent group’s Dail Motion, titled ‘Tackling Ireland’s Energy Security – a Roadmap for Self-Sustainability’, will be debated in the Dail today (Wednesday 21st September). Speaking ahead of the debate which is scheduled for between 10am and 12 noon today, Deputy Mattie McGrath stated:

“Ireland’s reliance on imported energy is entirely self-inflicted by a government captured by activist Green Party views, fully supported by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, and endangering our independence, energy, and national security. This one-dimensional thinking is leaving Ireland extremely vulnerable and pushing up the cost of everything”.

“Today’s motion follows from a similar motion tabled in June. On that occasion, the government played politics and voted it down. This time, we hope in the national interest, they will wake up, get real, and terminate the importation of dirty oil from dictators and begin drilling domestically for cleaner superior new oil and new gas off our coast.

“The government’s blinkered policy means Ireland currently imports 100 percent of our oil needs and over 70 percent of our gas needs, with gas imports rising. As a result, the cost of energy here is much higher than it should be (over 60 percent higher than EU average), with no guarantee that the lights will stay on this winter or in subsequent winters.”

Deputy Collins continued: “In raw monetary terms, the lack of energy security is resulting in the cost of Ireland’s annual net fuel imports (oil and gas) surging towards €10 billion this year, up from just €3 billion a year ago when climate change legislation was implemented.

“Even the publication of a government-funded energy security report this week utterly fails to accept the gravity of the evolving crisis. The report’s shortcomings include a major misguided assumption that Ireland’s energy needs will be met by the government’s unachievable renewable targets.

“Perhaps it is unsurprising that the authors of the energy security report, who were being paid by the government, chose not to investigate whether these targets, which ultimately depend on the wind blowing, were achievable or even realistic”.

Deputy Collins branded it “unforgivable” that the government has pursued a narrow energy path, leaning heavily on wind generation, a form of energy which cannot meet supply needs. He continued:

“After all, when the wind doesn’t blow, it doesn’t matter how many turbines are available, as zero multiplied by the turbine number is still zero. As we have seen in August, when electricity demand was at its annual low point, wind generation never once matched demand, supplying as little as 2 percent on many days.”

“It is, therefore, unforgivable that this government has taken the entire country down a narrow energy path without any backup plan or LNG storage infrastructure!”

He said the Rural Independents’ plan would end the politically-motivated ban on Irish gas and oil exploration, continuing:

“Our motion outlines an alternative plan aimed at ending the purely bogus and politically-induced ban on Irish oil and gas exploration, which constrains people into paying more for electricity, gas, home heating oil, petrol, and diesel, while seriously contributing to our cost-of-living burden.  We invite every TD in the Dail to support our motion.

“Doing so would provide cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy for all Irish people while realistically tackling the cost-of-living pressures,” concluded Deputy Collins.

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