TD claims estimate of costs of ban on fossil fuels “pure fantasy”
Bills benefits would far outweigh any costs says Brid Smith TD
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has labelled an Oireachtas report on the proposed bill to ban exploration for oil and gas as “pure fantasy” based on “pretty flimsy economic grounds”.
The research explicitly excluded looking at any economic benefits of the ban while much of its figures are based on “what if” scenarios that speculate on some find in the future.
Deputy Smith said:
“The headline figures will be used by the fossil fuel industry and this Government to continue business as usual, when we know we have 12 years according to the IPCC report to stop catastrophic climate change.
“In reality, the industry is wasteful, environmentally damaging and has proven inept at finding any substantial oil or gas reserves. It is a hugely speculative industry that contributes nothing to Ireland’s economic well-being and comes with huge costs both to our environment and to the planet.”
The TD pointed that no regard was taken in the research to the actual costs of the exploration industry, such as the workings of the Department Petroleum Affairs Division (PAD), its funding for some mapping exercises that are used by the industry and of the quantifiable damage done to fishing grounds and marine life as a result of the speculative drilling.
The TD said she was confident the bill would progress regardless of the opposition from the industry and Government.
“The time is up for the fossil fuel industry, we need to leave 80% of the already proven reserves of fossil fuels in the ground to head off global temperature increases of over 2 degrees. We need to use all our resources and investment to switch to renewable. The right of Providence or Petrel Resources to make profits does not outweigh the right of the planet and its people to not suffer catastrophic climate change.”