Speaking this morning in light of the news that the American fracked gas company New Fortress Energy have successfully lodged another application for a terminal in the Shannon Estuary, Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne has said that Minister Eamon Ryan’s inaction is an abuse of his power.
Teachta Wynne said:
“Minister Eamon Ryan is essentially the only person in the country who could and should have weighed in this process. The Shannon LNG project has been long opposed by climate activists and environmental groups.
“Their concerns were given a commitment in this Programme for Government, and we were told this State would not pursue any fracked gas infrastructural projects.
“Characteristically, the Greens have backpedalled on their commitments. The inclusion of Shannon LNG on the 4th EU Projects of Common Interest list was cause for concern, as ultimately being on this list endows such importance to an infrastructural project that domestic and local applications can be bypassed.
“Minister Ryan had an opportunity, and furthermore a duty, to an increasingly fragile international environment and ecosystem to actively oppose any projects that do not move us toward the zero-carbon future we are striving for. I have attempted to engage with him on this matter for several months now to confirm his stance on the Shannon LNG project which will massively affect my constituency of Clare. To date, he has not responded.
“His refusal to do so is inconsistent with his words and promises, which now seem to have been empty. Under Section 29(A) of the Planning Act 2000 he could have mandated an Bord Pleanála to reject the planning application for Shannon LNG – but now that it has been lodged, it is too late. This Ministerial power only applies in advance of an application being lodged. Minister Ryan’s negligence is going to have catastrophic ramifications for climate instability and chaos if the development of Shannon LNG is approved and we are locked into reliance on fossil fuels for the foreseeable.”