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The Polish government – and other sensible governments in Europe – must not let shady Russian-German-(French) axis stop the shale gas revolution in Europe.

One must hope that the Polish EU Presidency succeeds in its two central goals: blocking all attempts to impose EU-level regulation of the shale gas industry, and opposing any tightening of EU´s carbon emission targets.

Kash Burchett, energy analyst at Datamonitor, describes the challenges ahead for Poland:

The other defining feature of the Polish rotating presidency will be staunch opposition to EU-level regulation of the nascent European shale gas sector, notably the practice of hydraulic fracturing (the process by which shale gas is recovered from the ground). Calls to regulate (or even ban) hydraulic fracturing have gained surprising momentum surprisingly quickly in recent months. France has imposed an indefinite moratorium on its shale gas projects following a sudden surge in public opposition to hydraulic fracturing, amid fears of water table contamination (seeFrance: 18 April 2011:). This prompted a fierce rebuke from the Polish energy establishment (including Poland’s state-owned oil and gas company, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA–PGNiG), which sees the country’s potentially significant shale gas reserves as a way out of dependence on Russia for gas imports (see Poland: 13 May 2011:).

Yet despite Poland’s warnings to the EU against meddling in internal energy policy, consensus in the headquarters in Brussels behind hydraulic fracturing legislation appears to be growing. In particular, an influential member of the European parliament (MEP) Jo Leinen is said to be preparing a new “Energy Quality Directive” that would mean fuels with adverse environmental impacts–such as shale gas and oil from tar sands–were stringently regulated within the EU. The German Social Democratic Party MEP chairs the EU parliamentary body that oversees environmental regulation and thus holds the power to bring forward proposals on new laws.

Polish policymakers can be expected to oppose any such moves tooth and nail. Although coal is set to continue to dominate the Polish generation mix in the near term the government clearly expects shale gas to alter the energy landscape radically in the next decade. Conventional gas production in Poland is negligible and although the Swinoujscie LNG terminal on the Baltic Coast will add 5 bcm of import capacity from 2014, increased gas demand from industry and residencies will still imply increased reliance on Russian gas imports–anathema to policymakers. Consequently, the Polish government has sought to promote the development of domestic unconventional reserves and is bullish on the expected timeline for domestic production.

Indeed, a minister suggested recently that research and development should qualify as a project of European interest, arguing shale development would be crucial to Europe’s future energy security of supply, especially in the wake of a stalled European nuclear renaissance (see Poland: 9 May 2011:). This reveals how Poland’s support for shale will manifest itself in its rotating presidential policy: drawing attention to Europe’s increasing reliance on Russian gas imports. Despite a relative rapprochement in Russo-Polish energy relations in recent months, the government can still be expected to use its time at the Council’s helm to talk up the collective risks of dependence on Russian energy exports, as a means to justify implicitly shale gas development irrespective of potential environmental costs.

Read the entire article here

Indeed, the German socialist Jo Leinen is doing his best in order to prevent Poland and Europe in general from getting rid of the dependence on Russian energy. The real reason why Leinen is against Polish and other European shale gas exploration is that he wants to block anything that would be a threat to the Russian-German Nord Stream gas pipeline. The Chairman of the board of Nord Stream (picked by Vladimir Putin), former chancellor Gerard Schröder, is an old supporter of Leinen´s, already from the time (1981) when “container-Jo” climbed a container in order to coordinate a violent anti-nuclear power protest action. When charges were raised against Leinen in a German court, his influential socialist friend Gerard Schröder came to his help. The charges were later dropped.

Now it is payback time for Leinen; the Putin-Schröder pipeline – with former Stasi spy Matthias Warnig as CEO – must not be allowed to fail, even at the expense of Europe´s energy security and the enormous Polisch economic interests.

The danger is that Germany, which for the time being is controlled by green enviro-fundamentalists, and France, which wants to sell nuclear electricity to the soon almost “powerless” Germany, will try to force the European Union to make shale gas exploration de facto impossible.

The Polish government – and other sensible governments in Europe – must not let Leinen and the shady Russian-German-(French) axis stop the shale gas revolution in Europe. No price should be too high for Poland on this matter – not even membership in the EU!

And there is an added bonus for those who believe in human caused global warming: shale gas is an excellent choice with regard to the environment, too.

The New Nostradamus of the North, 7 July 2011