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Bad politics behind great oil and gas giveaway

Fintan O'Toole - Irish Times

OUR CHILDREN and grandchildren will see us as a weak and inept generation.

They will wonder how we blew the boom, why we put €30 billion into Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, how we gave up our economic sovereignty without much of a fight. They will feel bitterness at the way we pushed them, as children, to the top of the queue for so-called austerity.

And unless we act now, that bitterness will turn to contempt. They will hate us for the way, as well as leaving them with a legacy of unpayable debt, we also gave away something that might have been of real use to them, the chance to use our natural gas and oil resources for their benefit.

I’m returning to this issue because it seems to me to be a touchstone for our entire political culture. We can use it to address three big questions: have we learned anything? Is there really a shift in the way we do politics? And have we any capacity for the kind of radical thinking we need?

Posted Date: 
23 August 2011

Let's make Norway joint owner of our oil and gas

Fintan O'Toole - Irish Times

The State is about to sign away almost all our resources on terms by far the worst in the developed world

SOMETIMES, YOU have to consider extraordinary things. I want to suggest two of them at one go. The first is that the State is simply incapable of dealing with one of the key challenges and opportunities facing Irish people: getting the best for the Irish people from the potentially huge resources of oil and gas off our shores. The second is that we should therefore split those resources with a state that has proven its ability to manage this challenge for the maximum public benefit. That state is Norway. I am suggesting, in all seriousness, that we should give joint ownership of our oil and gas to the Norwegian state.

The first part of this proposition is the easiest to grasp. The official estimate of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is that there are reserves of 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic feet of gas off the western seaboard – enough to meet our energy needs for a century. (This does not include southern waters, where significant gas fields already exist, or onshore resources.)

Posted Date: 
16 August 2011

Shell's North sea oil spill 'worst for a decade'

Fiona Harvey - The Guardian

The government estimates oil leak could involve more than 1,300 barrels but claims it has been greatly reduced.

Oil spill in North sea : Sheel Gannet Alpha platform

The Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea. Photograph: Royal Dutch Shell Ho/EPA

The flow of oil from the worst spill in UK waters in the past decade, at one of Shell's North Sea platforms, has been "greatly reduced" but not yet stopped completely, the government said on Monday.

Conservationists warned that the leak could harm bird life in the area, at a delicate time in their development, as the oil company worked to minimise the damage.

Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "We know oil of any amount, if in the wrong place, at the wrong time, can have a devastating impact on marine life. Currently thousands of young auks – razorbills, puffins and guillemots – are flightless and dispersing widely in the North Sea during late summer. So they could be at serious risk if contaminated by this spill."

Posted Date: 
15 August 2011

A fantastic week of blocking Shell

Bob - Rossport Solidarity Camp - Indymedia

Shell says 159 truck movements a day...but manage a measly 40 in a week

This week saw Shell begin the next stage of their gas project by attempting to extend and secure their compound in Aughoose in preparation to lay the onshore section of the pipeline. This entailed tractors delivering fencing, machinery and other things for them to carry out the work. If all had gone to plan would have had the compound near completion now. However, there was five days of 12 hour blockades which has slowed them down tremendously. Here's a quick round up of the events of last week...

Rolling blockade leading to Shell tractor reversing back into refinery

Posted Date: 
3 August 2011

Rape-tape women ‘treated like perpetrators’

Trevor Quinn - Mayo News

Shell to Sea says every effort was made to co-operate with ‘aggressive, confrontational’ commission

Shell to Sea has reacted angrily to claims that it did not co-operate with the ‘rape tape’ investigation. The organisation was responding to the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commision (GSOC) interim report on the controversy at Corrib, which was released last week.
Speaking to The Mayo News Shell to Sea spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins said she is very disappointed that both the Minister for Justice and the GSOC seem to be trying to minimise and downplay what the gardaí did in ‘a case of a sexual-violence nature’.
“I’ve lost any respect I had for the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commision. They treated us in an aggressive, confrontational manner. The protesters were treated as if they were the perpetrators as opposed to the victims.” 

Posted Date: 
3 August 2011
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