Minister asked if the Department was lobbied over decommissioned Kinsale pipes by Providence
Licence approval “huge slap in the face for climate movement”
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has said she will be seeking clarification from Minister Ryan over his decision to approve changes to the Barryroe exploration licence for Providence Resources which the company claims could see oil and gas extracted in the next few years.
The TD is also seeking urgent clarification on Thursday’s Dáil motion which approved leaving key infrastructural pipes in the sea from the adjacent Kinsale decommissioned site. While the formal reason given by Minister Darragh O’Brien during the Dáil debate was that it was more environmentally sound to leave the pipes rather than remove them, it has been suggested that they could be used if the adjacent Barryroe field comes into production.
Deputy Smith said: “I will be asking Minister Ryan if Providence or other parties lobbied his department over the infrastructure and if they are aware of any plans to reuse them. The issue here is that approving the survey works and telling us they have no option but to grant permission to companies committed to extracting millions of barrels of oil and gas is a huge slap in the face for the climate movement.
“They announced a ban on new licenses but have left the door open for continued extraction and exploration over huge tracks of the state’s waters.
“The science on climate change and the scale of the crisis hasn’t changed because the Greens are now in a coalition- we still have to leave 80% of proven reserves in the ground to have any hope of averting climate catastrophe.
“Approving the Barryroe development flies in the face of that science. It will not aid our energy security or local economies- it simply locks us into continued fossil fuel use for decades.”
The TD also disputed the Ministers statement that he was legally obliged to approve the licence saying: “Under existing terms under which the licence is issued a minister has huge powers to refuse extension, renewals or further development. Those powers existed before we knew about climate change. The Minister should have the political will to use them and face down the fossil fuel industry.”