People Pressure Starts To Pay Off Over Oil And Gas Giveaway
If ever a story shows that persistent pressure by concerned people can yield results then the Irish gas and oil story is one that has just hit the hundredth monkey.
After a decade of pressure put on government and media by citizen journalists, activists and protests revealing the sordid details of the oil and gas giveaways by successive governments from the 1980s to the present day, this government has finally (reluctantly) been forced to take the first steps towards reclaiming our assets for the nation.
This article by Eddie Hobbs confirms that it is only the first step, and does not go anywhere near far enough, but the principles of the Wood McKenzie report go a lot further and have been adopted by government. However this will only happen if the pressure stays on them.
The old deal leaves ownership of the oil and gas finds in the hands of private prospectors with an extremely generous if not negligible tax regime in place. It also leaves Ireland no better off than at present, where we import all our oil and gas, as we can only buy our oil and gas back at market rates. However the pressure ordinary people have put on the political establishment through media, protest, and on the doors over recent years has caused this issue to because a major problem for the status quo that gave it away.
DDI has a policy of holding and developing Ireland’s assets for the benefit of Ireland’s people. Specifically with the oil and gas we believe that Ireland has plenty of Irish expertise worldwide to develop these fields through either a State oil company or a State / Private partnership. This is now much more likely with the adoption of this report.
However, we do not see the oil and gas as the final solution to our financial and energy independence problems. We do not want to waste the revenue generated from these assets. We take a long view on most issues and we see it as a stepping stone. Part of DDI’s energy policy is to use some of the financial benefits gained from oil and gas independence and from export to our neighbours, to invest in and put ourselves at the forefront of development of the next era of energy production that will remove dependence of fossil fuels forever.
New clean technologies and new fuel sources are our target with local energy independence a key factor, moving away from the grid dependency we are presently developing. Energy technology is on the cusp of these new discoveries and we plan to position Ireland as a world leader in cheap clean energy. The resources on our continental shelf are known to be vast and this will give us the time and finance to develop it’s replacements.