Ceisteanna — Questions.

Fossil Fuels.

Eamon Ryan

Question:

1 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach the value of fossil fuels imported into the Irish economy in 2003. [16678/04]

The value of fossil fuels imported into the Irish economy in 2003 was €1,782 million. For comparative purposes, following are supplementary tables to show data for the years 2000 to 2003, inclusive, identifying import values for the three main fossil fuel categories, the corresponding export values and the overall value of net imports — that is. imports less exports — for the three categories.

Imports of Fossil Fuels 2000-2003

2000

2001

2002

2003

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

Coal

98,721

147,344

96,990

101,018

Gas

266,709

336,075

244,341

212,584

Oil

1,913,584

1,714,217

1,462,620

1,468,055

Total

2,279,014

2,197,636

1,803,951

1,781,657

Exports of Fossil Fuels 2000 — 2003

2000

2001

2002

2003

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

Coal

7,913

2,490

3,198

3,227

Gas

2,401

3,209

5,740

2,540

Oil

240,316

236,852

288,605

133,844

Total

250,630

242,551

297,543

139,611

Imports less Exports of Fossil Fuels 2000-2003

2000

2001

2002

2003

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

€(000)

Coal

90,808

144,854

93,792

97,791

Gas

264,308

332,866

238,601

210,044

Oil

1,673,268

1,477,365

1,174,015

1,334,211

Total

2,028,384

1,955,085

1,506,408

1,642,046

I am glad to see that my little question has brought a number of Ministers and backbenchers out to hear the Minister of State's answer. I appreciate the Minister's response in providing more detailed information than may have been originally asked for. There appears to have been a doubling of oil prices in the past two years and the figures are increasing dramatically. Does the Department have any mechanism whereby the Central Statistics Office would contact line Departments to inform them of a noticeable trend if it occurred? Will the Minister of State say if her Department has any role in the whole emissions trading system for counting carbon, which in a sense is related to the question I am asking? Will it publish data on the use of carbon by different sectors in our economy, the cost of carbon trading as it occurs? Will her office or another Department have responsibility for reporting the exact figures in that regard? I know the Environment Protection Agency has a responsibility in setting up the scheme, but does the Minister envisage that the CSO should have a role in monitoring what is essentially a statistical operation?

The data, as presented, are derived from a combination of customs based non-EU trade statistics and estimates based on the Interstat survey of Irish traders engaged in trade with other EU member states. I have no information as to other facts raised by Deputy Ryan. These will come under the responsibility of the various relevant Departments. I can inquire as to further information that may be available.

Business of Dáil.

It is proposed, not withstanding anything in Standing Orders, that we now move on to questions to the Minister for Health and Children, which shall conclude at 4.15 p.m.

Is that agreed? Agreed.