Sean Crudden made the following submission on behalf of Cooley Environmental and Health Group to Susan O'Reilly in the Department of Finance:-
'What fates decree that man must needs abide
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.'
It is clear that, long before Newton formulated his laws of motion, Shakespeare had more than a primitive understanding of action and reaction, force and energy in nature. Living, as I do, in the Cooley peninsula one is very conscious of all the unharnessed energy in both wind and tide going abegging in this locality. However if it is left to private enterprise and competition to harness this energy I fear it will never happen. "The energy is there," as Ray Stone once said to me on the radio, "It's just a question of how to get at it." I think that the whole question of energy supply will have to be approached rather, in a systematic way, on the basis of public enterprise and co-operation. And things should be beginning to happen around here sooner rather than later.
We are hearing now about the emission of greenhouse gasses and The Kyoto Protocol and even about a "carbon tax." I believe that it is futile to expect the demand for energy to contract as a result of the introduction of carbon tax. The public will grin and bear it and pay up for the kind of conventional energy we now use. The only genuine answer to the environmental dangers from the burning of fossil fuels is the substitution of present energy supply sources by "green" or renewable sources for the supply of energy. The only genuine rationale for a carbon tax is to ringfence the tax and use the money to develop renewable energy production in Cooley and similarly in other parts of Ireland. I have heard it said that it is necessary now to build the machines for harnessing green energy while we have still enough energy left from conventional sources to do the job.
The Irish Times (26 July 2003) gave the following report from Reuters:-
'Oil prices slipped to end the week down nearly six per cent on signals that post-war Iraqi exports could finally start to pick up. An early move below the $30 a barrel mark did not last long as tight U.S.fuel stocks leaves little cushion against disruptions during the summer when demand peaks.'
Needless to say even a short report like that underlines concerns about scarcity of fuel and the security and blatantly military dimensions of energy supply and the energy market.
Clearly there is no panacea beyond the creation of new, large-scale and lasting resources of renewable energy.
Cooley Environmental and Health Group.
END of SUBMISSION
Sean received the following acknowledgement from the Department of Finance by e-mail:-
Dear Mr Crudden
I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent carbon tax submission and to say that your comments will be considered in the context of the consultation process.
Carbon Energy Taxation Consultation
Budget and Economic Division
Department of Finance.