Oil and gas exploration bill stuck in Dail limbo

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith sponsors the bill
People Before Profit TD Brid Smith sponsors the bill

A bill designed to stop new oil and gas exploration licences being issued for Irish waters is in procedural limbo.

An Oireachtas committee of TDs and Senators was split 6-6 yesterday on whether to send the bill to the Dail for the next stage of the legislative process.

That means the Bill as it stands has stalled, with the Green Party saying there was “no clear way forward”.

Brid Smith, the People before Profit TD who sponsoring the bill, is now set to write to Ceann Comhairle Sean O’Fearghail to argue that a new memorandum of understanding on parliamentary procedure should allow the Committee’s TDs, and not its senators, to vote on whether the bill can proceed to the Dail.

Critics of the bill say it will do nothing to reduce Ireland’s oil and gas emissions, and serves only to bind us to importing all our oil and gas from foreign countries in the future. Its proponents say the Bill is needed to tackle climate change.

Irish Independent


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