Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Pat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
I agree it is important that the matter is cleared up not least from the point of view of the jobs that will be created. It is important from the point of view of the additional security of supply that it would give to our energy provision here as well. For this reason I welcome and support the project and I have made as much clear to the parent company, to the local company in Kerry and to Shannon Development. We are doing everything we can to bring in this plant because LNG would be a valuable addition to our diversity of supply. As Deputy Ferris suggested, the fact that there are many unemployed people in the area is something we will take into consideration and I am keen to help in any way I can. The regulator is set up by statute of this House and is independent and has a job to do in the interests of consumer protection, competition and so on. I cannot interfere with that but I will be helpful in any way I can. I have signalled only recently following a request from my colleague, the Minister, Deputy Deenihan, my willingness to meet the county manager and I am pleased to do so.