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Shale Gas Production a Chance for Europe

03-04-2012  News

This is a good and safe alternative to other kinds of energy, reads one of the two draft reports by the European Parliament.
In Brussels yet another act of the shale gas debate is in progress – this time favourable for the supporters of this energy source. A MEP from Greece, Miki Tzavela, has drafted a report on “the industrial, energy and other aspects of shale gas and oil”. This is one of the two documents on this subject to be put to vote in the European Parliament, probably at a plenary meeting in September. “It addresses shale gas in terms of opportunities rather than threats”, emphasises Konrad Szymański talking to Rzeczpospolita. Szymański is a “shadow reporter” responsible for the work on the report on behalf of his political group – European Conservatives and Reformers.
The report highlights “a key role of shale gas production worldwide in ensuring long-term energy security and diversification”. It encourages the European Commission to hold a dialogue with the U.S. on the exchange of experience, shale gas production being much more advanced on the other side of the Atlantic. In her report for the European Parliament Miki Tzavela calls on the European Commission to support this industry in the EU. The report emphasises that the existing regulations ensure the safety of production and it encourages the Member States to hold public consultations (which, by the way, is already a must under the EU regulations in effect). The Greek MEP’s report is being prepared in the European Parliament’s Committee for Industry. “She wrote the report in a very transparent way. There is a good chance of its being adopted in this form in a Committee vote”, predicts Konrad Szymański.
The positive tenor of the report is not at all surprising, an industry-friendly viewpoint prevailing in the Committee for Industry. “Producing equally positive conclusions in the other report now in process in the EP, the one meant to address the ecology aspects of shale gas and to show the environmental threats involved, will be more of a challenge. The other report is being prepared by a MEP from the PO [Civil Platform], Bogusław Sonik, in the European Parliament’s Committee for the Environment. Neither report will be of a legislative nature; both will just express the opinion of a majority of the MEPs. Even so, they will provide the European Commission with a weighty argument for or against new legislation on this industry. The European Commission has also commissioned expert reports on this subject. The first one confirmed that the existing legislation already offers adequate safeguards. Two other are still in process.
Source: Rzeczpospolita, 3 April 2012, p. 1, author: Anna Słojewska
Other articles on the same subject:
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, p. 10, Sonik: “Wydobycie gazu z łupków nie szkodzi środowisku” [Shale Gas Extraction is Environmentally Harmless”
Gazeta Wyborcza, p. 24, „Bez środowiskowego zakazu dla wydobycia gazu z łupków” [No Environmental Ban on Shale Gas Production]


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