The EU will draft rules for shale gas production by the end of 2013, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday (28 May). Speaking during a debate with MEPs, Barroso said the framework would allow “the safe and secure extraction of shale gas in Europe.”
Energy prices in Europe are more than twice the levels in the US, while concerns over costs and energy dependence are particularly pressing for eastern European countries, which are reliant on Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Meanwhile, the recent emergence of vast supplies of natural shale gas in the US has radically altered the energy landscape.
The commission will ensure that “the rules of the game are the same, while providing reassurance to the public that environmental and health safeguards are in place,” Barroso said.
He fended off accusations from Green group spokeswoman, Rebecca Harms, that a meeting of EU leaders last week saw a “paradigm shift” in EU energy policy away from environmental sustainability and climate change.