Given these circumstances, People Before Profit intend to deal with all current licences issued to date in the following manner.
- We would take all oil and gas resources into public ownership. People Before Profit would nullify all existing agreements with oil companies and stop all new licences being granted.
- We would introduce a new model of hydrocarbon management. This would be premised upon (a) public ownership of resources, (b) stronger state participation through production sharing and service contracts, and a national oil company, and (c) higher rates of financial returns through increased rates of corporate tax and royalties. The state will retain ownership of Irish gas and oil and will engage with oil companies through production sharing contracts or service contracts where this is necessary to access technical expertise.
- A new Irish National Energy Company (INEC) would be a key component of this new approach and other oil companies would be required to co-produce with the INOC until it has developed the necessary expertise and financial capabilities to produce independently.
- We would develop and fund an integrated industrial development strategy comprising upstream and downstream activities. Public ownership of our natural resources would become the cornerstone of a new development strategy that would replace a reliance on foreign multi-nationals.
Such a strategy could include:
- Training and upskilling workers for the range of exploration, development, production, refining and transportation activities and ancillary services.
- Related research and development programmes.
- Supporting new and existing services industries.
- Development of a new state run refinery with refined petroleum products used for: transportation fuels; fuels for heating; fuels for power generation; chemicals and plastics; and components for lubricants.
- Use funds and infrastructure from oil and gas activities to diversify Ireland’s energy supply. People Before Profit favours developing and moving towards more sustainable forms of energy production which would have additional industrial, economic, social, and environmental benefits. Such benefits include increased employment, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and increased energy security. Ireland has a wide range of renewable energy sources including wind, wave and tidal sources, and solar and geothermal energy which can be utilised productively. The wealth generated from public ownership of natural resources will make this diversification possible. In the meantime, no new licences should be issued.
- People Before Profit would also develop a 32 county perspective on the National Grid. It makes sense to build infrastructure for the whole island rather than for two states each replicating what the other does.
- We would explore the possibility of creating energy co-operatives, particularly around local renewables projects.
- This will likely clash with Anti-competition laws upheld by the European Union. In that case People Before Profit favours breaking the rules in favour of local democracy and environmental protection.