Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, has admitted it is a real "culture shock" for people in the midlands that permission for the re-development of the Shannonbridge power station was refused.
Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Ms Naughton, who is Chair of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and Environment, said the priority now is to protect the workers and their families, and to move fast to accelerate the support for them.
She said she believes there are still a lot of opportunities for work in the midlands.
Ms Naughton defended the Just Transition task force in their mission to help sectors move from high to low carbon jobs, stating that its focus is on identifying the transition needs and weaknesses in particular sectors and setting out a five-year vision.
She said Offaly will be a test model and there are structures working very well already.
"For example the Construction Industry Federation is liaising with these task forces to see how they can up-skill or re-skill workers within Bord na Móna or the ESB.
"There are two significant pilots underway in the midlands, one in relation to fish farms and one in relation to herb farms," she said.
Ms Naughton said now what needs to be done now is to get stakeholders together, identify the skills shortages and look at the people to up-skill.
Separately in relation to pressures being placed on beef farmers, she said the Teagasc report is helping farmers reduce their emissions.
"As part of this the CAP negotiations that are taking place, 40% of the funding coming from CAP will be based on environmental and climate measures.
"So it helps support farmers who wish to make that transition to diversify for example into solar energy and renewable energy. And helping us meet our climate change targets," she said.