I saw Eddie Hobbs on the Saturday night show talking about Own Our Oil which seeks to become the leading national citizen-led and politician-free advocacy organization committed to changing Ireland’s Oil & Gas licensing terms.
I have thought for a long time that our politicans totally screwed us (yet again) on the terms of our oil and gas licensing agreements. It's a well known fact that Ireland has the second worst deal in the world in terms of government take from oil and gas, after only Cameroon according to a 2007 US government study. Why do Irish people always accept being exploited so blatantly?
It wasn't always like this.
Own Our Oil - OwnOurOil.ie
We are practically giving the stuff away and even Pat Kenny thinks we would be better to leave it in the ground than what we are currently doing. He also describes the current situation as CRAZY and asks what I have often wondered myself why do our politicians give such outrageously generous terms to the oil companies.1975 licensing terms introduced by Justin Keating meant we received royalties and retained ownership and control with state participation in exploration, development and production. During the 1980’s, Ireland’s terms were drastically changed by Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern following intensive lobbying by oil companies which led to a dramatic dilution of the benefits to Ireland of Ireland's own natural resources.
I remember a Norwegian lawyer who specialises in oil and gas Dag Henriksen telling George Hook that he thinks our government are very passive on the terms given for the exploration rights of our natural resources. He said that in the 60's and 70's they were in the same situation as us with unexplored and untested basins but their government was very aggressive in securing future rights if the activity proved to be successful.
The Norwegian people are aghast that the Irish people are so willing to give away their natural resources. And I accept that they probably have a lot more but the principle remains the same.
I for one think this issue is extremely important as it's probably one of the few chances we have of getting out of the current financial situation we are in. We need to stand up and fight for this one if we are going to leave anything to our children apart from debt.