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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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‘If farmers were paid for extra energy, it would make a huge difference’

Carbon tax increase from May 1st, 2022 

“The government will break the country with its targets. Russia, China, India, and Africa will keep doing what they are doing.”

“They will do more harm to the environment in one year than Ireland would do in 1,000 years. The government will close the country down. It will finish up exporting our youth, as happened in the 1950s and early 1960s.

That is the stark warning that independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae issued during Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022.

Carbon tax increase 

The deputy made the remarks while slamming the government’s move to implement another carbon tax hike on May 1st, 2022.

He told the chamber that “people everywhere cannot believe that, notwithstanding the savage cost of fuel, that the Taoiseach would even consider raising it further”.

“The Taoiseach knows it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back,” he remarked.

The deputy added that China is building “massive” electricity-generating stations. Russia is mining coal and oil.

Meanwhile, he stated that the USA is still using massive passenger eight-cylinder vehicles, such as Cadillacs, Lincoln Continental, and Chevrolet, that have “massive” 5.7 l and 7.8 l eight-cylinder engines.

“Petrol is $3.80 a gallon there. Here, most people are driving 1.6L and 2L cars,” he added.

He said that the true influence that the war is having on our energy costs has not been felt yet.

Hauliers and construction 

He stated that hauliers and construction are in “serious trouble”, as he pointed to some 1,000 job losses at Roadbridge.

He warned that it would have a “ripple effect”, and many others are “on the brink”.

According to the deputy, already ten construction companies have “gone down” in the UK, and he believes Ireland will “follow”.

“If every light was turned off and we all left this country, it would only make 0.13% in the worldwide context. We are all under one sky. The one sun and the one moon are over us all.”

“The government can cripple our people, cause the loss of thousands of jobs and can break the people, paralyse our farmers and curtail their ability to continue producing food.”

He told the chamber that he understands that nobody has calculated the cost of importing food from places like Brazil or what emissions this will create.

He said it will “certainly be more” than a farmer in Kerry who is selling an animal to a factory in Bandon or selling over the counter in Killarney, Kenmare, Castleisland or indeed Macroom.

Energy crisis

He stated that Deputy Eamon Ryan has been talking about solar energy for years. However, he said “we are still waiting” for the government to implement power purchase agreements (PPAs) for microgeneration schemes so that small energy producers can sell extra energy back to the grid.

He suggested that farmers and industry have acres of farm buildings with roofs on which they could put these solar panels on top.

“That could give them a small bit of financial help to start them off. If they [farmers] were paid for the extra energy, it would make a huge difference to relieve the energy crisis in this country,” he concluded.

Previously, we featured an article on the ins and outs of solar energy.

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