Energy Imperialism and Shannon LNG
Masters Dissertation september 2019 by Eóghan Harris.
‘Energy Imperialism and Shannon LNG’ is a critical investigation of energy imperialism, through a historical case study of Shannon LNG. Imperialism is conceived in an energy context in the tradition of Lenin and Luxemburg, envisioning imperialism as the spatial fix to the inner contradictions of capitalist accumulation, through geographical expansion of commodity chains. These commodity chains characterize the capitalist world economy as a world-system, and are the economic imperative behind the expansionism of imperial powers.
The commodity chain under investigation, is that of US shale gas and its international trade as LNG(liquefied natural gas). Ireland is examined here, in its capacity as a facilitate ‘broker state’ for mobile capital, the political culture which comes with this fostering dependent development. Exemplified in the case of Shannon LNG are:
Trans-national Corporations(TNCs) interact with social structures of peripheral regions within Ireland through patronage, and this produces and reproduces dependent development and corrupt, client-ist planning procedures. This is perfectly illustrated by the companies interactions with local communities and political figures, and in the county councils rezoning of land for Shannon LNG, which was carried out in such a way, as to avoid a strategic environmental assessment.
Civil society actors and environmental NGOs are increasingly using international arena and transnational political spaces to bypass ‘cunning’ states and hold them accountable.
We are currently at a historical crossroads, or Bifurcation point: in both the structural crisis of the capitalist world-system and in the steady state operation of the global climate system. The action or inaction of people, when faced with destructive commodity chains seeking a spatial fix, will decide the outcome of this historical bifurcation.