Following the announcement that over half a billion barrels of oil could be retrieved from the Rathlin Basin, Independent councillor Padraig McShane suggested that if it was economically viable, little could be done to stop the resource being exploited.
“Because of the vast profits associated with oil industries, companies seem to have an ability to ride through planning legislation and environment concerns seem to become a secondary consideration against the pursuit of multinational companies interests.
“That being said the industry does enjoy models of ‘best practice’ around the globe. Our primary concern must centre on the protection of the natural environment. Of equal importance is those who live here. An industry on this scale will bring enormous changes to the area but has real potential to bring similar sized benefits.”
The Councillor stated that given the nature of the discovery hydraulic fracturing would not be used to extract the commodity.
“It is too early to ever consider the possibility that a single barrel of oil will ever be extracted in the area but the protection of the natural surroundings must begin now. To that end the Council have already begun to sound out methods of industry practice that ensures environmental protection going forward.”