Thursday, 3 October 2019
Development of a Liquefied Natural Gas Facility in Ireland: Statements
I confirm my support for the motion circulated by Deputy Bríd Smith on this matter and I commend her on her tenacity in ensuring that at least some debate took place in the Chamber on this issue. Nothing shocks me any more. The manner in which the Government has gone about this issue shows a very brass neck - effectively, pulling the wool over the eyes of the public and the Dáil. Imagine scheduling a debate at Oireachtas committee level next week while actually dealing with this issue tomorrow at European level. That is certainly not democracy. It is not what we are about in this House. There needs to be full and informed debate on this issue among the general public, in the Oireachtas committee and in the Dáil Chamber and a decision should be taken following an informed and full debate.
The question of fracked gas terminals must be removed from the list of projects of common interest immediately. This proposed project should not go ahead until that has happened. We know that fracked gas is a very dirty gas. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas, behind carbon dioxide. It is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide. We know that the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that shale gas production in North America may have contributed to approximately one third of the total increased methane emissions from all sources globally over the past decade.
The manner in which this matter has been dealt with is anti-democratic. We need a full and informed discussion in this House, in the committee and among the public on this issue. This project should not go ahead and no decision should be made by the Government in the EU tomorrow.