Voting to send billions of euros abroad yearly by importing all our oil and gas needs, despite available domestic alternatives, is reckless and unsustainable during an unprecedented energy supply and price crisis, which is submerging record numbers of households into energy poverty.
A Dail Private Members’ Motion tabled by the Rural Independent Group of TDs, calling for indigenous oil and gas supplies to be developed, has this week been voted down by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the Greens who all voted to continue importing Ireland’s oil and gas needs from foreign suppliers, with the express support, during the Dail debate, from Sein Fein, Labour, the Soc Dems, PBP, and members of the regional independent group.
Speaking this evening (Thursday 16th June 2022) the Leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, stated:
“The ESRI’s frightful warning that household energy bills could rise by €70 per week or €3,500 over a year and push one in four households into energy poverty if prices continue on the current route, comes as the government voted to block our latest proposals to cut prices and secure supply.”
“Our Rural Group’s motion, if passed, would have paved the way for Ireland to finally have security over the supply of all domestic energy needs, enabling the nation to become self-sufficient regarding its energy needs.”
“Our proposals would result in abundant, reliable, cleaner, and cheaper energy supplies to run vehicles, households, hospitals, schools, farms – the entire economy essentially – while creating thousands of jobs and billions in corporation taxes.”
“Despite the enormous benefits of our approach, government TDs voted it down, highlighting their entrenched and short-sighted climate positions. This means Ireland’s two million vehicles, over one and a half million houses, and 250,000 businesses that use fossil fuels for the movement of goods and people, heating, and manufacturing, are left solely dependent on more expensive fuel imports, at a time of constrained supply.”
“TDs who blocked our proposals can no longer credibly purport to be in favor of cheaper domestic fuel, which would be 30 percent cleaner when they vote to do the complete opposite. This glaring hypocrisy is astounding.”
“Despite the spin, this year fossil fuels will meet 87 percent of Ireland’s energy needs, and we can see the consequences of being solely dependent on imports when filling our cars, buses, tractors or utilizing heat and electricity.”
“Government TDs, joined by so-called left-leaning opposition members, have blocked the potential to produce our oil and gas as a transition fuel, meaning Ireland’s dependence on the importation of all its energy needs will continue.”
“The war in Ukraine should have served as an urgent reminder to enhance our energy security, especially as Russia is starting a wider squeeze on European gas supplies in response to EU sanctions. Yet, it appears that the one-dimensional climate credentials of all of Ireland’s political parties mean that heads are “sand-buried,” far removed from current realities and shirking onus. What else is new?”
“Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Sein Fein, Labour, PBP, and even the Social Democrats are acting like oil and gas imports do not exist. Their hollow rhetoric and green “groupthink” do absolutely nothing to provide cheaper fuel and energy for hard-pressed Irish people.”
“While we fully support producing clean electricity from renewables such as wind, its contribution to overall energy use today is small, for most heavy energy use in our economy, such as cars, trucks, buses, ambulances, and heating systems, do not yet use electricity.”
“Those who cling to climate nirvana, for varying self-serving political reasons, are removed from reality. For example, they ignore that switching equipment, cars, and heating systems away from fossil fuels takes time, money, and human capital. Ponder the evidence – only 1,600 of Ireland’s one million-plus home heating systems transitioned from fossil fuels’ usage in 2021.”
“Being paralyzed by a climate groupthink should not initiate inaction; rather, it should catalyze addressing one of Ireland’s most vulnerable security risks, namely our dependence on foreign governments and entities for our energy,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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