An Taisce 'operating as a threat' to renewal of the Midlands - Nolan
Independent TD Carol Nolan has described the decision by An Taisce to object to the provision of an operating licence for the Lough Ree power station in Lanesborough, Co. Longford, as "obstructive and completely unwarranted."
Deputy Nolan was speaking as concern is mounting within the Midlands that An Taisce is having a disproportionate impact on the direction of government energy policy potentially resulting in the needless loss of hundreds of jobs:
“While I accept that the remit of An Taisce is to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage, it must do so in a manner that is collaborative and fair," she said.
"From what I can see from its most recent decisions with respect to Lough Ree and Shannon Bridge, this approach has been entirely ignored in favour of an increasingly aggressive and interventionist policy that is having a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary workers."
"The Environmental Protection Agency had already decided to grant Lough Ree a revised licence and that should have been sufficient to allow operations at the plant to be restored."
"However, An Taisce are now saying said the EPA had 'not considered the impact of continuing peat extraction.' This is clearly absurd given the level of work that has gone in to achieve environmental compliance."
"At this point, it is difficult to avoid the impression that An Taisce are willing to sacrifice the sustainability of the Midlands as a region in transition as part of its effort to push through its own narrow vision of what is environmentally acceptable."
"It is now clear that the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, needs to intervene in order to assure the people of the Midlands that charities like An Taisce will not be allowed to act as a de facto threat to the growth and viability of our communities,” concluded Deputy Nolan.