Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice, has expressed concerns over rising green diesel prices.
The deputy shed light on the matter during Leaders’ Questions in Dáil Éireann on Thursday, January 27th, 2022.
He highlighted that “the reality” is that in March 2020, a litre of green diesel for a tractor cost between 41-42c.
Rising green diesel prices
“Yesterday, it cost between 92-94 cents in bulk. For the people who drive to work every day, white diesel today costs €1.68 and petrol €1.78,” the told the Dáil.
“These are people [farmers and agricultural and building contractors] who, as the Tánaiste has said before, get up early in the morning and go to work.”
“What are we going to do for those people who get up early in the morning and are now paying exorbitant rates to produce food if they are farmers or to go to work if they are consumers?” he asked.
He asked the government what action it plans to take to address current issues, particularly, rising fertiliser and fuel prices.
“What is our plan for the next three to six months for the farmer whose fertiliser has now gone from €350 or €400 depending on the type to €870 or €970, again dependent on type?,” he asked.
“Bear in mind, white diesel in 2020 was €1.20. Green diesel is going to be €1, from what we can see, over the coming weeks.”
During his address, the deputy said the EU has a proposal to bring gas and nuclear in under the green banner. He confirmed that he “does not” have a problem with it where gas is concerned.
However, he claimed that Ireland is “relying” on gas coming from Russia, and it is “like a tap” at the moment. “It can be turned up or down at any stage,” he said.
During the session, Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, argued that Ireland “does not use very much” Russian gas and claimed that “pretty much” half of our gas comes from the Corrib Gas Field, with the remainder from Britain.
Continuing, Fitzmaurice said: “US President, Joe Biden, announced that they were going to do all in their power to ensure Europe was going to be okay and bring in liquefied natural gas, LNG.”
“Ironically enough, Ireland, as a country and the government, have decided that they are going to block a proposed LNG terminal.
“What is going to happen to the people who get up early in the mooring and drive to work, bearing in mind that we have not the facility for the LNG and that we basically brought in legislation in the previous Dáil that said there would be no more exploration?”
He asked that if the EU puts gas under the green energy banner, will there be exploration then. He questioned if the government could change legislation to enable Ireland to do this.
“Are we going to put in the LNG stations so we can take it in? What are we going to do for those people who get up early in the morning and are now paying exorbitant rates to produce food if they are farmers or to go to work if they are consumers?” he asked the Tánaiste.
In response, Varadkar, said he understands there is a planning application from a private company, New Fortress Energy, to build an LNG terminal in north Kerry.
He confirmed that the government is not supporting this project. It believes “the future is in renewable energy and hydrogen, but we are not going to block it either”.
He added that if the company is granted planning permission and can finance the project, then it can proceed.