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Poland Considers Disempowering Environment Ministry

Junior coalition partner in Poland demands merging the Ministry of Environment into his Ministry of Economy.

Partners in the victorious coalition in the recent Polish elections, are disputing for control of Ministry of the Environment and control of oil and gas concessions in Poland.

Both the PO (Civic Platform) of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and junior PSL (Polish Peasants`Party) led by deputy PM and Minister of Economy Waldemar Pawlak agree, that environment and energy issues should be put together in the reshuffled government.

However, both parties have declared a strong interest in the portfolio that would give direction to Poland’s shale gas resources. Almost a week after the elections, have failed agree who will control this new department.

Tusk proposes to create a new Environment and Energy Ministry, by separating energy issues from Ministry of Economy, currently held by Pawlak.

The PSL leader rejects this idea. “Economy without energy is like pipe without gas,” said Pawlak.

Junior coalition partner demands merging the Ministry of Environment into his Ministry of Economy.

“This is worth thinking about, although the essence of my idea was to strongly tie problems of energy and environment. We surely need to discuss it,” commented Tusk.

Tusk and Pawlak aim to formally renew the coalition at the end of October.

Leaders of both parties agreed not to make any changes to the government until the end of Poland’s presidency of the European Union. According to Tusk, the new cabinet will be nominated on November 22.

According to the Geology and Mining Law, Ministry of Environment issues not only licences but also mining usufruct rights. The payment for the mining usufruct is to be set out in the agreement with the state.

Natural Gas Europe, 13 October 2011