Ireland’s ban on oil exploration could cost billions

Ireland’s ban on oil exploration could cost billions

A proposed ban on exploration and extraction of oil and gas in Ireland will cost the economy around €1.8 billion a year, according to a new report.

The Petroleum and Other Mineral Development (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill 2018 would stop any applications for exploration licenses for oil once the monthly average of carbon dioxide exceeds 250 parts per million. The monthly average in May was over 411 parts per million.

Research by the Oireachtas Library and Research Service (OLRS) puts the loss tax revenue at €50 million annually for the Irish treasury.

The study suggests the state would miss out on revenue from future exploration and discoveries as well as tax receipts. Some of the country’s most deprived areas would be disproportionately affected, both for the local economy and for jobs.

In addition, consumers could save €530 million in total due to the fall in energy prices, as Ireland could reduce its need for expensive natural gas imports.

However, Seán Canney, the minister for natural resources, confirmed the government’s continued support for the oil industry, insisting that the fuel source will be vital for the country in the foreseeable future.

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