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Why Occupy Corrib House?
dublin | environment | feature Wednesday March 28, 2007 14:14 by w. - wsm (pers cap) improvemyself at hotmail dot com
End the Gas Giveaway!
This morning myself and a number of my comrades from the WSM along with members of Eirigi occupied the roof and reception of Corrib House to draw attention to the state giveaway of Irelands natural resources. Outlined here is my understanding of why we need to act to regain control of our resources.
Related Links: Audio report of Tuesday's occupation | Indymedia Mayo Archive | Shell to Sea | Rossport Solidarity Camp | éirígí | WSM |
. Added to this the Dunquin field, which is 10 times the size of Corrib and apparently one of the 20 biggest oil and gas fields in the world, was given to Media-Monopolist Tony O Reilly’s company Providence Resources for 1euro.
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Dublin Shell to Sea are asking members and supporters to assemble at Shell HQ on the corner of Lwr Leeson St and the Grand Canal at 1pm this Friday.
Very well written and straight to the point.
You fail to mention that between 1975 and 1987, when the higher tax regime applied, not a drop of oil or cubic foot of gas was discovered in Irish waters and that, by the end of that period, exploration in Irish waters had come to a complete halt. When will you realise that Ireland is not a major oil province? Its not even a medium oil province. Its not even a small oil province. The reality is that there is hardly any oil or gas in Irish waters in comparison with those countries which are major producers. In this respect we're no different to most countries in the world. Only a few countries in the world have significant oil/gas reserves. That's why there's a shortage. If every country had significant oil/gas reserves, there'd be no shortage and it would be dirt cheap. All the countries you mention are the lucky few in which hundreds of commercial oil and gas discoveries have been made. In Ireland almost 40 years of exploration, at a cost of billions to the exploration companies, have resulted in only two small gas discoveries and zero oil discoveries. To suggest that a country with this track record for commercial oil discoveries should impose the same tax regime as countries in which hundreds of commercial discoveries have been made is crazy socialist economics. Suppose you get a left-wing government that introduces a similar tax regime for oil/gas discoveries in Irish waters similar to what pertains in Norway or Venezuela? In that case, why on earth would any oil exploration company bother to explore in Irish waters when the hit rate for successful oil/gas discoveries is a tiny fraction of what pertains in those countries? This warped thinking was what drove socialist Justin Keating to impose a much harsher tax regime for oil exploration in 1975. And the result? As I said at the start of this post, oil exploration ground to a halt and not a drop of oil or cubic foot of gas was discovered until the Keating tax regime was replaced in the late 80s/early 90s and exploration resumed in Irish waters, resulting in hundreds of jobs and the Corrib discovery a few years later.
So John, if we left the gas there and just bought our energy from abroad instead of from Shell, what difference would it actually make?
Apart from the improvements in the community relations, the freeing up of hundreds of cops and the loss of all of the articles on this site?
I guess there might be some job losses in Erris at the site, but they are short term positions moving peat around, and the improvements in the area's tourist potential would more than make up for it.
So John, what's in it for us?
Try learning a little economics John. Additonally wIth North Sea reserves running out areas along the Atlantic Sea-board naturally become the new prospecting hot-spots. PLus your claim that there was a dearth of finds around Ireland in the 70's does not stand up - how do you explain the success of the Kinsale gas field etc??. In Scotland the push for Independence is being bolstered by the propect of proven reserves of oil and gas off the Scottish Atlantic coast next door to the gas fields off Donegal. You can be sure any new Scottish governemnt won't be handing it all over to Shell and their type for next to nothing like the clowns who are meant to be running this country!!!
Shame on Shell for taking advantage of the fact that they don't have to pay royalties or automatically give Ireland ownership of any gas field that they explore.
I mean, surely they should have told the government that they weren't going to do anything until such things were imposed. The baxtards.
It's pretty obvious that Shell, Enterprise energy and other oil/gas interests lobbied (we know what that means in an Irish context, brown envelopes) to create the lucrative situation they have today. It's now time to renegotiate the deal, I don't think deals made with corrupt politicians count for much.
It has been shown in various studies that the presence of resources such as oil gas diamonds and minerals results in bad governance,represssion,military coups, foregin invasion, internal civil conflict and high levels of national debt. Just think of all the countries with heavy resource deposits that you can..Congo, Nigeria , Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Saudi and Iraq.Norway and the nordic countries are the only ones which balance this equation unless you count the USA.
One factor left out by John's analysis is the closeness of the Irish deposits to their intended source markets. It has been commented  that the major trends visible in petroleum consumption has been that consumption centers tend to source from geographically closer production sites. The gas in the North Sea and adjacent Atlantic is very handy both to the EU and the US.
Coupled with a docile population and a corrupt government, Ireland is an oil exploiter's wet dream.
 e.g. Chomsky notes that the US occupation of Iraq is widely recognised by political scientists to not be for the oil, but to control the oil. The US itself has since the mid-70's imported mostly from Latin America and Nigeria.
You forgot to mention the cost of the cleanup operation to the irish taxpayer. Shell and other oil companies are great at getting the stuff out but not so great when it comes to cleaning up their own mess. They usually try to "externalise" this bit
Also, will the cost of their carbon and methane emissions contribute to our stealth carbon tax bill?
IMHO We would be clearly better off leaving the stuff where it is unless the deal is radically re-negotiated.
When everything is taken into account, It will probably cost us money to give our gas away to shell
Also, I thought bertie ahearn had a hand in reducing the rate of corporation tax which would apply to shell from 50% to 25%.
oh..and john, when you finish sucking corporate cock, please suck mine you asshole.
(note to editor: if you find the previous line offensive, please feel free to delete it. I just couldn't think of anything else fitting to say to john sorry!)
On every level we are fighting the criminal theft & destrucion of the planet. Chomsky does indeed note the "control" rather than "supply" of Oil and Iraq - pity though so many people like to keep things in the light & ignore the other trades & their routes. As I've told ye since before this war - which I wrote they couldn't prosecute - smack is more valuable than oil & your civilisation is reliant on its production, supply & delivery. Like it or not - naturally most people don't like it because they mostly haven't tried it & thus didn't learn to respect that dragon.
If you live in Ireland & haven't joined the campaign against Shell - please do it! for the sake of the millions of people whose lands are destroyed and squalor eternalised by the same system we seem so happy to think we are hooked on. "western capitalism & fossil fuels".
But why did you occupy Corrib House?
Like, I know the overall issue - but how does getting on the roof for an hour overturn the decisions by the EPA, ABP, and the Government? And/or any other decisions made by the bodies or state institutions involved in the planning and execution of it?
Likewise, apart from a summer of one-day-a-month days of solidarity and a never-ending residents picket with protestors camp (until the project is finished), can anyone really think of a solid process in which this project will actually get completely stopped and turned around from what's already been started?
Just that pushing up against the fence in Shannon never got rid of the US planes - I dont see how it will stop Shell building their terminal.
I'm serious about this - what do people really think will happen. What needs to happen if they think the S2S campaign (all strands) is to be a success?
Answers on a postcard please.
Click on the link below to view an update of the éirígí campaign for the nationalisation of Ireland's natural resources:
éirígí & WSM activists inside Shell HQ on Tuesday
Great work comrades
Yeah great work but..
If the SWP went off and did a similar action, and then asked the rest of us to back it, the WSM would be giving out hell.
The above comment about the SWP is bizarre, if they ever occupied anything (apart from the steering committee of the IAWM) I'd welcome it. Just like the WSM welcomed the Raytheon action.
how does getting on the roof for an hour overturn the decisions by the EPA, ABP, and the Government? And/or any other decisions made by the bodies or state institutions involved in the planning and execution of it?
It was roof and foyer for 3 hours, but you're right it doesn't overturn the decision - what it did do was get our message into the media (and on the front page of indymedia). We weren't just calling for Shell To Sea, we were demanding control over our natural resources. It's not a battle for one day, or one that a few simple occupations will solve - we need a movement but they have to start somewhere. This action is the start of building for that. Eirigi have distributed 35,000 natural resources leaflets, it all ties in. Even Vincent Browne was sounding off about the bad deal we got on Corrib last night (rte radio 1).
I think this got some coverage in the business pages of the Sunday Tribune. Didn't see it myself but a friend told me about it. did anyone see it? Is it online?
I don't think there was any broadcast media attention for this, not even a mention on a local radio station, let alone TV.
I didn't see anything either in the IT, The Independent or the Examiner, nor was there anything in any of the Sundays that I saw.
Maybe I'm missing something, but doing something like this just to get on indymedia seems a bit pointless. Most people who look at indymedia are fairly supportive of this campaign anyway.
Here it is - they take the piss a bit. Looks like an April fools thing.
Good work , any plans for raising this in the faces of the politicans who will be swarming all over the place shortly?