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LNG Gas Storage To Be Debated Today by Oireachtas Committee

30th May 2023

Development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage in an Irish port is to be debated by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action today (Tues, May 30).

Gergely Molnar, gas analyst with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Professor Barry McMullin from Dublin City University (DCU) will address the parliamentary committee.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent disruption to the European and global gas and oil markets have intensified discussions around energy security, including in Ireland,”the committee’s chair, Green Party TD Brian Leddin, says.

“This has included calls from some quarters for the development of LNG storage in this country as contingency against any future energy supply shocks,” he says.

“However, any proposed development of such infrastructure and reliance on LNG, even in an emergency, should be judged against our goal to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and be carbon neutral by 2050,”Leddin says.

“The committee looks forward to hearing from Mr Molnar and Professor McMullan on LNG, oil prospecting and related matters,” he says.

Last month, Green Party leader and Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan clarified his position on the construction of an LNG terminal, stating such a facility would expand Ireland’s use of gas contrary to legally-binding climate targets.

His clarification followed the publication of an open letter signed by more than 150 community groups, academics, environmental campaigners and politicians calling on Ryan to restate his commitment to a ban on fracked gas imports.

The signatories also included Labour leader Ivana Bacik, People Before Profit TDs Bríd Smith and Paul Murphy and Sinn Féin TD Máiread Farrell.

They expressed “deep concern” about recent comments by Ryan, which suggested, “Green Party policy banning fracked gas may be reversed”.

Senior Green Party figures had earlier warned that any change in the leadership’s stance on construction of an LNG terminal would cause a serious rift within the party.

They were responding to comments published in the Sunday Business Post in which Ryan said that “the world changed” when the Nord Stream gas pipelines were blown up last year, which heightened concerns about energy security, particularly gas supplies.

The Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.

The meeting at 11am in Committee Room 3 of Leinster House can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

Published in Irish Ports Team

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