A Douglas MHK will be seeking Tynwald’s support next month for a motion in opposition of plans to extract gas from Manx territorial waters.

Isle of Man company Crogga, which is looking for oil and gas in our waters, was recently granted permission to continue in its search beyond a four-month licence extension granted in December 2021.

The Department of Infrastructure originally issued Crogga Limited with a Seaward Production Innovative Licence in October 2018.

Douglas South MHK Joney Faragher says that this shouldn’t go ahead.

She said: ‘What I’m really trying to do is get the votes down on record and see what the will of Tynwald is because I do feel that this issue is one of national strategic importance.

‘It is my feeling that it should have come to Tynwald anyway as it’s such an important matter for us after having declared the climate emergency and deciding what we’re going to do with our territorial waters. It’s a way of bringing it to Tynwald so people can get their say and that can go down on public record.’

She added that other members of Tynwald felt the same but there was still very much a division.

‘Members feel two ways about it obviously, there are some who feel we should go ahead and other who feel we shouldn’t,’ said Ms Faragher.

‘Rather than making any decisions behind closed doors in un-minuted meetings, let’s see how important this is because there is quite a lot of public feeling about it on both sides but let’s get this out in the open and bring it into the public arena so we can discuss it properly and addess the public’s thoughts as well.’

Ms Faragher explained that she wanted to raise the fact that the area off the coast of Maughold in Manx territorial waters could be leased out for offshore wind turbines.

The MHK said: ‘We could make a huge and significant amount of revenue from that.

‘I’m double checking it but I do feel that should be the way to go because first of all that would be in keeping with our own climate commitments but secondly in keeping with the way that the world is travelling.

‘By the time we extract the gas, which Crogga itself has said will be 2030, we don’t know if the cost of living crisis will still be occurring then, we can’t say what’s going to be happening in that time.

‘It certainly won’t help with the cost of living crisis now but what will help is if we’re bringing in some revenue and bringing energy security, and being in keeping with what the rest of the world is doing, so we’d be future proofing as well.

‘Economically for me, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m quite concerned we’re pursuing this when actually it doesn’t seem to stack up economically whatsoever.

‘It really does worry me where we’ve made mistakes like this in the past that have cost the taxpayer quite a lot.’