Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Order of Business
Déirdre de Búrca (Green Party)
Will the Leader invite the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Eamon Ryan, to the House to discuss the substantial hikes in energy costs the country is likely to face next year? From front-page newspaper reports, rising oil and gas prices will mean the ESB and Bord Gáis will attempt to increase their prices next year. Oil has risen to an unprecedented level of $126 a barrel while natural gas in London costs 86.5p per unit. The British gas supplier, Centrica, indicated it will raise its prices by 20%. This will have implications for Irish consumers and householders. Both the ESB and Bord Gáis will make submissions in July to the Commission for Energy Regulation for their 2009 price plans.
It is also important for the Minister to discuss with the House the broader issue of energy security and the plans both the ESB and Bord Gáis have to diversify their fuel sources to ensure Irish consumers are protected from these unprecedented price rises in oil and gas.