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Questions for Politicians

category national | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Monday February 14, 2011 17:49author by RSC - Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Can your local election candidate answer these simple questions?

Dear politician,

Economically speaking we are being sold out by our elected representatives via the nationalisation of bank debt, while anything of value – such as our oil and gas resources - are given away via privatization.

Socially we are losing a generation to emigration, most of whom will never return, nor will have any economic reason to do so without a reversal of how this nation is managed.

Now in a state of desperation for employment, any environmental sacrifices dictated by private infrastructural projects will be justified by the offer of temporary construction jobs – crumbs off the plate while the corporations feast on our rich natural resources.

In this context, I would like you to answer to the following questions:

In 2006, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) estimated that there is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent) of recoverable oil and gas in Irish waters off the west coast alone. Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $80, this works out at $800 billion, or €600 billion. Do you believe that the Irish people should benefit from any exploitation of the estimated €600 billion of oil & gas off the west coast of Ireland?

A 2007 report by the United States Government Accountability Office found that only Cameroon took a lower share of the revenues from its own oil or gas resources than Ireland. In December 2010, Brian Ó Catháin, who previously was in charge of the Corrib Gas Project stated he expected “that Corrib will never pay tax”. - Do you agree that it is time to renegotiate the deal that Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke gave to the oil companies?

As it currently stands Ireland has no control over how oil & gas found on Irish land and waters is used. Even with the world-wide recession, oil prices have risen steadily for the last 2 years. Despite this the Government seems intent on giving away control of these resources. In 2011, the Government hopes to open up over ¼ million square kilometers to the oil companies for exploration. - Do you agree that all further exploration licenses, lease undertakings and petroleum leases should be halted until a complete review of oil and gas terms is carried out with changes agreed by the Irish public through a referendum?

Shell have received unprecedented Compulsory Acquisition Orders (CAO) over land in Glengad and Aghoos despite some of the landowners being totally opposed to Shell's plans for the area. Shell is proposing to put up fencing and engage security to keep people off their own land. - Do you agree that taking away people's property rights for the sole benefit of foreign multinationals is wrong?

The unique high pressure raw gas pipeline proposed for the Corrib gas project runs through a community close to houses, schools and crosses a main road. An Bord Pleanala initially refused to give permission to over 2/3 of the pipeline that Shell suggested but eventually gave permission to the most dangerous part of the project at Glengad after lobbying from the Department of Energy. - Do you accept that political pressure shouldn't be used to interfere with the planning process in particular with projects which endanger members of the public?

Shell has been granted permission to build a 5km long tunnel with a diameter of 4.2m through an area that has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation under EU law. - Do you agree that environmental law should apply to everyone in Ireland including powerful companies?

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience,

Yours sincerely,

Informed Voter

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