As the Dail rises today, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan TD has announced that of the 13 Acts that have been passed during this parliamentary session, five emanated from his Department. The five bills from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources that were signed into law are:
• Energy (Biofuel Obligation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010
• Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (Carbon Revenue Levy) Act 2010
• Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety Act 2010
• Inland Fisheries Act 2010
• Communications Regulation (Premium Rate Services and Electronic Communications Infrastructure) Act 2010
The Biofuels Obligation compels fuel providers to include at least 4% of their fuel mix for biofuels. This policy is intended to encourage the use of renewables in our transport fleet and to protect a fuel supply in the event of an oil shock.
The Carbon Windfall Levy claims back ‘windfall profits’ from electricity generators, securing over Eur70m a year which will be used to lower electricity costs for business to protect jobs.
The Petroleum Safety Act confers responsibility on the independent Commission for Energy Regulation for the safety of oil and gas exploration in Ireland.
The Inland Fisheries Act consolidates our governance of Inland Fisheries in Ireland and delivers on a Bord Snip commitment to rationalise the public service.
The Communications Regulations Amendment Act includes a number of important measures for the Irish communications consumer and industry. The Premium Rate Services provisions will mean hefty fines of up to Eur250,000 for any service provider found to be deliberately misleading or scamming consumers. This Act also includes measures to open up our national roads for ducting to be installed to increase broadband services throughout the country. This is an important first step in the use of state assets for broadband.