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The Mayo Advertiser: Shell to Sea take over Minister’s office

Current Publication Date: 22/12/2007
Geraldine Carr

On Wednesday last week Shell to Sea protesters gained access to the office of Mr Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Natural Resources, and unfurled a banner on the roof which read “Protect Ireland’s natural resources”, while a large group of supporters gathered outside.

In a statement released by Shell to Sea, the reason for this action was to “bring to public attention the government’s support for every aspect of the Rossport pipeline/refinery scheme, and the giveaway of Irish natural resources to multinational companies like Shell, with no lasting benefit for people in Ireland.”

The statement added that “none of the gas or oil in the wells off the western coast of Ireland will belong to the State, since the government still plans to give it all away for free to private companies. The recent changes to licensing agreements won’t apply to the €8 billion Corrib project, and don’t amount to a serious stake for the people of Ireland in their own natural resources, 100 per cent of which is still being given away to companies like Shell and Statoil.”

The activist group also claim that no money from fossil fuels will be invested in renewable sources of energy like wind and wave power, and no thought has been given to the impact that the exploitation of these resources will have on climate change.

Áine Ni Dhubháin, one of the Shell to Sea protesters, said that “the Government’s supine support for the oil companies shows that they prioritise the welfare of Shell shareholders over the well-being of their own citizens. Shell are being allowed to keep all the gas and sell it to the highest bidder, almost certainly in Britain. The refining of €4 million worth of raw gas per day will clearly degrade the environment, both locally for the people of Mayo, and also in terms of carbon dioxide emissions when the gas is used. From an Irish point of view, we would be better off leaving the gas where it is, under the sea.”

http://www.mayoadvertiser.com/index.php?aid=4517

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