23rd October 2002
Ferris expresses surprise over Corrib Gas
The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD has expressed surprise over the decision to re-open the hearing into the plans to develop the Corrib Gas field.
Deputy Ferris stated: ``A new hearing will only be of value if it succeeds in obtaining a full explanation of the reasons why the Corrib North Consortium of Shell, Statoil and Marathon have not given serious consideration to an alternative to Bellanaboy Bridge, which is totally unsuitable on environmental and other grounds.
``It is vital that Enterprise provides a full explanation as to why it would appear that they have not seriously considered alternative sites, either off shore or at the old Asahi plant at Killala among others. Questions also remain regarding the manner in which the site at Bellanaboy was acquired and planning permission obtained from Mayo County Council. Sinn Fein hopes that An Bord Pleanála will not succumb to the sustained pressure to get them to approve the planning application.
``Apart from the environmental concerns, the current licensing arrangements mean that the benefits accruing will be minimal. The changes made to the licensing terms by Ray Burke in 1987 ensure that the state gets almost nothing from these companies who have been given control over our potential vast oil and gas reserves for a pittance. It would be far better to leave the gas where it is until better terms are secured rather than suffer all of the environmental damage for nothing'' ENDS
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