EPA postponed Decision

September 28, 2007 at 9:02 am | Posted in Statements | 3 Comments

Yesterday’s announcement by the EPA that it is further postponing granting a Pollution Control Licence to Shell follows last week’s publication of three new possible pipeline routes for the Corrib gas project. Taken together, these events starkly reveal the dysfunctional nature of the present project.

There could hardly be a clearer example of project-splitting. Approval to operate the proposed refinery is being considered even in the absence of any agreed pipeline to supply the refinery and in the absence of any consent for such a pipeline. 

The project is marred not just by project-splitting. In addition, no proper environmental assessment has been conducted, or can yet be conducted, given that, because no pipeline has been agreed, the features of the overall project are as yet unknown. Therefore, the cumulative impacts cannot, as a matter of logic, be determined. 

Beneath the careful PR manipulation and corporate spinning, the Corrib gas project is now a byword for incompetence and arrogance. In that sense, it fits neatly into, and fully typifies, the general mediocrity and ineptitude of public governance in Ireland.  

Given the refusal of the present Minister for the Marine to initiate a fully independent review of the entire project, the only prospect for a rigorous and detailed examination of the project in its totality now lies with the European Commission. I urge the Commission to intervene as soon as possible to ensure that environmental protection and the rights of citizens are fully upheld.  

Norway’s oil fund.

September 6, 2007 at 8:41 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

The latest figures from Norway show that their Oil Fund (ie the money that the State has accumulated from oil and gas revenue) now stands at US$ 327.5 billion. Given that Norway’s population is 4.6 million people this means that the State has an investment fund equivalent to 52,128.50 euro for each citizen. This Fund is quite apart from the oil and gas revenues annually spent to support Norway’s world class social welfare and health systems.

It is sad and humiliating to recognise that Ireland’s Corrib gas reserves will go to augment this financial resource in Norway. Our government has once again failed to protect the interests of its own citizens. The financial regime governing the oil and gas industry is merely another manifestation of the endemic incompetance and mediocrity of public governance in Ireland.

Norway represents a model for good governance and how a society should function in the interests of its citizens and focused on ensuring the optimum quality of life for all. Perhaps our political leaders should be obliged to spend their summer holidays there for some intensive study! It could be that Brian Boru made a serious mistake!

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