Fianna Fáil are looking to introduce a nationwide ban on smoky coal which would bring in a ban on turf, peat and wood by the back door, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Martin Heydon, a member of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, warned that you cannot have a nationwide ban on smoky coal without extending it to peat, wood and turf.
“Micheál Martin and Fianna Fáil want to introduce a smoky coal ban across the country. It is simply not possible to do that without extending it to other fuel products. Fianna Fáil should be honest with people and stop trying to sell them fairy tales.
“What would Fianna Fáil provide to people who would find that their peat or turf fires were suddenly illegal? As usual, Fianna Fáil offer no answers.
“Environment Minister Richard Bruton has already said we will proceed in a gradual and fair way and extend the smoky coal ban to 13 towns in nine counties, meaning all towns with populations over 10,000 people are now covered. We will also strengthen enforcement of the ban and bring forward a Clean Air Strategy.” Deputy Heydon said
“To proceed with a nationwide smoky coal ban as Fianna Fáil suggest is just reckless and populist. It would immediately expose people in rural areas across the country, who for generations, have traditional sources of logs and turf which they rely upon, to the risk of a sudden ban.
“We cannot do this. This is what will happen if a nationwide smoky coal ban is introduced by Fianna Fáil – traditional fuel sources could be made illegal overnight,” Deputy Heydon said.