ERR in Brussels: Shale oil lobby efforts may end in a fiasco ({{commentsTotal}})

The years' worth of lobbying by the Estonian government and the shale oil producers, to ensure that EU passes favorable regulations for the sale of shale oil, may end in a fiasco.

Green MEPs are trying to boycott the enforcement of the European Commission's Fuel Quality Directive. This would put Estonia's investments to oil shale industry at risk, reported ETV's news program "Aktuaalne Kaamera".

Estonian diplomats had hard time lobbying for suitable marketing regulations for shale oil. Despite strong opposition from the European Commissioner for Climate Action, European Council gave the necessary act a green light.

However, the European Parliament's Environment Committee has sank the said act and if the same is done by the Parliament's plenary session next Wednesday, Estonia's efforts would have been in vain.

"This could very well happen," said Estonian MEP Kaja Kallas, "The greens and some of the liberals are in favor of it."

MEP Marju Lauristin said that she has and continues to do her part in explaining her peers about the necessity of the act.

"I must say that we have a relatively large number of people who, fighting for green principles, forget the ones associated with the key worry of the Social Dems - worry over jobs and social security," Lauristin said.

Not all of the Estonian representatives in the European Parliament agree with such sentiments.

"If we have the most polluting resource in Europe, then pushing it out of the market should be one of the means of European climate policy. So I differ on that matter from other Estonian MEPs, who, by the influence of monopolist producers, want to vote against the environment. There is a distinct chance that the Parliament will reject the Commission's proposal," said MEP Indrek THarand.

Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the EU, Clyde Kull, said that even if the act is rejected next week, Estonia can carry on producing and marketing shale oil. "The problem is that if an investor makes plans to develop a factory, he wants to know that he has legal security for not three, four or five years, but for at least 10-15 years."

The economics of producing shale oil in Estonia has also been undermined by the free-falling price of oil in the last few weeks.

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