The Irish Cabinet has blocked a bill that would have ended further oil and gas exploration off the coast of Ireland, drawing praise from the energy industry and condemnation from environmental groups.
The cabinet of Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took this decision based on the bill’s potential financial impact on the government, including the loss of royalties and the certainty of lawsuits from the holders of existing drilling licenses. For issues affecting public finances, the cabinet has the authority to block legislation in the Dáil, Ireland’s parliament. The Dáil had already passed the anti-drilling legislation (dubbed the Climate Emergency Bill) twice by majority vote.
The cabinet also acted on analysis showing that the bill would have resulted in greater natural gas imports, increasing emissions from gas transportation and raising Ireland’s net carbon footprint. Read on.