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For Immediate Release

Press Release October 17th 2019:



        European Commission Says That 

    Ireland can Still Remove Shannon LNG from the 

            Draft Final  4th PCI List

In dramatic scenes today in the European Commission, the Deputy Director of DG Energy, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, at a meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) told Ireland MEP Ciaran Cuffe that Shannon LNG cannot stay on the PCI List if the Irish Member State opposes it.

Ireland has until October 23rd to inform the Commission that it no longer supports the importation of US Fracked gas through the proposed Shannon LNG terminal.

So, it is now unequivocal. It is still an Irish decision and not a Commission Decision to make, to remove Shannon LNG from the PCI List and the country still has time to make it. And now is the time to do just that.

Shannon LNG's planning permission has expired.  So has the permission for its pipeline. Sweden has shown the way when the Gothenburg LNG terminal had to be taken off the PCI List when Sweden withdrew its support for the project 2 weeks ago on Climate grounds.

The European Commission broke the law when it refused to assess emissions when it was deciding on which projects to keep on the list. And even Deputy Director General Borchardt admitted as much today.  You couldn't make it up.

Ireland thought it was finished with the PCI process for the project once it approved Shannon LNG getting on the Regional Draft List on October 4th. Of course it huffed and puffed a bit about the Commission not having done any assessments of the fugitive methane leakages from fracked gas but was assured by the Commission stating that it would carry them out for the next round of PCI projects in 2 years time. We would all just have to turn a blind eye to the current proposed list. So much for a rules-based system. But then, one of the world's top scientists in the area of the Methane Life Cycle, Professor Robert Howarth from Cornell University in New York, gave expert witness testimony to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action, telling the Irish parliamentarians from all parties, and none, that importing US fracked gas via the Shannon LNG project was 44% more damaging to the Climate than COAL.  And to think that this is still going to get overriding public interest status.

But here is the funny bit. The Commission has now told the world that it is still Ireland's decision  to make to keep or remove Shannon LNG from the list of projects of Common Interest.

And the Deputy Director General even went a step further when he agreed that these projects can lead to a 50 year fossil fuel lock in and that the developers love them because they set the framework for an accelerated permitting process of 3 and half years maximum.  Well that's the next high court challenge off to a fine start there since the grounds for deciding if a project requires public consultation and a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which this decision never had, is if it is a decision which sets the framework for future development consent.

All of this for the EU-US trade plan of July 25th, 2018 to flood the EU with filthy fracked US gas in a blatant move of trade over climate.

You really couldn't make it up. All of us to pay massive carbon taxes and drive electric cars from power stations fuelled with US fracked gas that must be built in the national interest.

What a joke it would be if it wasn't so serious.

Time to act,  dear decision makers out there.   No more excuses.   Science and the Commission have spoken. Do you know what the Precautionary Principle means?

References: 

1.

Click here to view the European Commission replies to Ciaran Cuffe MEP, saying it is up to Member State to take Shannon LNG off the List, Explains PCI Process, Explaining the advantages for Developers of the PCI procees (Framework for Development Consent), Admitting the Climate Impact of Importing Fracked Gas has not been assessed by the Commission and Admitting to 50 year fossil fuel lock in ... .Unbelievable.


2. Email  from DG Energy setting the October 23rd Deadline for Ireland to remove Shannon LNG from the PCI List.:

From: AMILHAT Jane (ENER)
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:16 PM
To: 'aurelia.slate@rpro.eu' <aurelia.slate@rpro.eu>; 'barbara.rudnicka@msz.gov.pl' <barbara.rudnicka@msz.gov.pl>; 'bogdan.popescu@diplomatie.gouv.fr' <bogdan.popescu@diplomatie.gouv.fr>; 'c.syriopoulos@rp-grece.be' <c.syriopoulos@rp-grece.be>; 'Carmel.fields@dfa.ie' <Carmel.fields@dfa.ie>; 'clive.a.gerada@gov.mt' <clive.a.gerada@gov.mt>; 'edwjam@um.dk' <edwjam@um.dk>; 'Elina.SCHUSTER@bmeia.gv.aT' <Elina.SCHUSTER@bmeia.gv.aT>; 'energia@rpue.esteri.it' <energia@rpue.esteri.it>; 'energia@rpue.esteri.it' <energia@rpue.esteri.it>; 'giuliana.delpapa@esteri.it' <giuliana.delpapa@esteri.it>; 'guy.lentz@mae.etat.lu' <guy.lentz@mae.etat.lu>; 'Inga.Iljina@mfa.gov.lv' <Inga.Iljina@mfa.gov.lv>; 'ioan.pogea@rpro.eu' <ioan.pogea@rpro.eu>; 'iria.alvarez@reper.maec.es' <iria.alvarez@reper.maec.es>; 'jml@reper-portugal.be' <jml@reper-portugal.be>; 'jolanta.navickaite@eu.mfa.lt' <jolanta.navickaite@eu.mfa.lt>; 'kristiina.tammeraid@mfa.ee' <kristiina.tammeraid@mfa.ee>; 'ltheodoridou@mcit.gov.cy' <ltheodoridou@mcit.gov.cy>; 'maria.jimenez@reper.maec.es' <maria.jimenez@reper.maec.es>; 'marian.husarik@mzv.sk' <marian.husarik@mzv.sk>; 'marianna.jakab@mfa.gov.hu' <marianna.jakab@mfa.gov.hu>; 'martin.pitorak@mzv.sk' <martin.pitorak@mzv.sk>; 'martin_pejrimovsky@mzv.cz' <martin_pejrimovsky@mzv.cz>; 'maud.foucher@diplomatie.gouv.fr' <maud.foucher@diplomatie.gouv.fr>; 'Michael.STEURER@bmeia.gv.at' <Michael.STEURER@bmeia.gv.at>; 'miika.tommila@formin.fi' <miika.tommila@formin.fi>; 'p.icheva@me.government.bg' <p.icheva@me.government.bg>; 'Paul.Hagan@fco.gov.uk' <Paul.Hagan@fco.gov.uk>; 'petr_binhack@mzv.cz' <petr_binhack@mzv.cz>; 'Petya.Icheva@bg-permrep.eu' <Petya.Icheva@bg-permrep.eu>; 'raluca.florescu@rpro.eu' <raluca.florescu@rpro.eu>; 'rasa.engstedt@gov.se' <rasa.engstedt@gov.se>; 'Sandra.moreau@diplobel.fed.be' <Sandra.moreau@diplobel.fed.be>; 'Sandra.Vainute@eu.mfa.lt' <Sandra.Vainute@eu.mfa.lt>; 'Sanna.Ek@formin.fi' <Sanna.Ek@formin.fi>; 'sophie-van.eck@minbuza.nl' <sophie-van.eck@minbuza.nl>; 'Szilvia.Zombory@mfa.gov.hu' <Szilvia.Zombory@mfa.gov.hu>; 'tomasz.bak@msz.gov.pl' <tomasz.bak@msz.gov.pl>; 'urska.dolinsek@gov.si' <urska.dolinsek@gov.si>; 'wi-5-eu@brue.auswaertiges-amt.de' <wi-5-eu@brue.auswaertiges-amt.de>; 'wi-bim-1-eu@brue.auswaertiges-amt.de' <wi-bim-1-eu@brue.auswaertiges-amt.de>; 'Will.Francis@fco.gov.uk' <Will.Francis@fco.gov.uk>; 'wolfgang.dinnocenzo@mise.gov.it' <wolfgang.dinnocenzo@mise.gov.it>; 'zeljko.krevzelj@mvep.hr' <zeljko.krevzelj@mvep.hr>; 'zsuzsa.beres@mfa.gov.hu' <zsuzsa.beres@mfa.gov.hu>
Cc: REUNIONS COMMISSION / EXPERTS NATIONAUX (EP) <Reunions-Comm-ExpNat@europarl.europa.eu>; 'service.courrier-actesdelegues@consilium.europa.eu' <service.courrier-actesdelegues@consilium.europa.eu>; ENER B1 PROJECTS <ENER-B1-PROJECTS@ec.europa.eu>
Subject: 4th PCI list - draft delegated act and accompanying staff working document
Importance: High

 

Dear Madam/ Sir,

 

Following discussions with experts from your Member State in the context of the Regional Groups as laid down in Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and, in line with the commitments undertaken by the Commission in light of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Legislation, we are consulting you on the final draft Commission Delegated Regulation amending Regulation (EU) 347/2013 as regards the Union list of Projects of Common Interest and the accompanying final draft Commission staff working document.

 

The attached draft delegated act includes the 4th list of PCIs as adopted by the High-level decision making body of the Regional Groups. Please note that, in line with article 3(4) of the above mentioned Regulation “the Commission shall ensure that the Union list is established every two years, on the basis of the regional lists adopted by the decision-making bodies of the Groups as established in Annex III.1(2), following the procedure set out in paragraph 3 of this Article”.

 

Also in accordance with the above Regulation, representatives of the Member States, national regulatory authorities, transmission system operators, ACER, ENTSO-G and ENTSO-E have been involved in the drawing up of the 4th list of PCIs. Several consultations have been carried out during the process. Regional Group meetings have been webstreamed and open to a broad range of stakeholders, including consumer and environmental organizations.

 

Should you have any final comments to the attached draft delegated act, please let us know by 23 October 2019.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jane Amilhat

Acting Head of Unit

Networks and regional initiatives


3: 

Transcripts of what Klaus-Dieter Borchardt Deputy Director General of DG Energy said  at the meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on October 17th, 2019:

 

"There was a question of the Shannon. Thank you for that. It's a good example where our problems lay today. Also for the Commission. Because you have to understand that the PCI Process in the first place is in the hands, as I said, it's bottom up, of Member States, of what they want to have.  And then it goes to regional groups, et cetera. So we as a Commission when it comes to us, we have to  follow some clear rules. We cannot keep a project on the list if One Member State opposes it.  And we have had these cases this time.  On the other hand, if there is no opposition, and we are doing a Cost Benefit Analysis and it shows a positive social welfare  ratio, then we are, at this moment in time, obliged to take it.  And that is also as Mister Peterson has raised.  And I take that, that here is a missing link in our system. That we should have, for future projects , a real scrutiny, a real assessment on the climate policy compatibility of  these projects.  ...

 

Now, why is there such a keen interest to get on this PCI list. And there are mainly  three reasons for that. The first is that our regulation, the TEN-E Regulation foresees that  the PCI has to undergo an accelerated permit-granting procedure and it is said that the whole permit granting - all permit s, by the way, should  go through a one-stop shop - have to be delivered within three and a half years.

 

The second is that PCIs are under a special regulatory framework which also facilitates the implementation . For instance, we also have the prerequisite that the hosting countries,  at least  two Member States,  they have to agree on such an infrastructure project, which already  takes away all the risk that there are some political  implications   that could hamper the development of a project. That is already cleared through the PCI process.

 

And then last, but not least, and for the developers of course, the most important one,  is the EU Financial assistance.  And here, we have a direct connection between the PCI and the Connecting Europe Facility. Because we can only accept a project for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility if, it has previously been  taken on the list for PCI.  [...]

 

And also, to discuss, what you have claimed, rightly so, where is the  sustainability or Climate Impact Assessment.  Unfortunately, we are not doing it . This is certainly a missing link that is in our current catalogue of criteria  which need to be added . And the Commission knows it .

[...]

Because the danger is there.  If you are putting today such a pipeline into the water it stays there for the next 50 years. And that is certainly something where we also have, if you look into the future, the problem."