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Snippet Contents:

I would also like to use this opportunity to point out, regarding the underground-overground discussion surrounding the interconnector, that our party, Sinn Féin, has made detailed submissions on this. We have been active in campaigning on it for a number of years. The cost between undergrounding and pylons has narrowed. This needs to be revisited, and the Department and the new Government need to consider it because, as the Minister will be aware, there is huge resistance to pylons and in the medium to longer term the better option, we believe, where at all possible, is to go underground.
The Bill provides for the renaming of the Commission for Energy Regulation as the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in order to reflect the expanded remit of the commission to regulate water services. I reaffirm my position and that of our party that water is not a consumer product and we should never treat it as such. We are an independent State. It does not matter what everybody else does. The North of Ireland is doing its own thing on water, as is Scotland, and we can also. It is not a commodity and should not be treated as such. It is a crucial public service necessary for life, so we are not convinced and we do not believe that water needs to be brought under the commission's remit.