UK urges EU to cut red tape and clear way for shale

Oct 25, 2013
British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for a press conference at the end of the second and last day of an European Union (EU) Council meeting on October 25, 2013 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels.

Britain mounted a fresh crusade Friday to slash EU red tape London says strangles business—with a core demand that Brussels does not interfere with legislation on fracking.

Prime Minister David Cameron gathered a mini-summit of leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy's Enrico Letta to present a 30-point plan he said would save billions of euros each year.

French President Francois Hollande did not attend but European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, whose EU executive draws up thousands of laws and regulations, joined as did business leaders.

Cameron said he detected a "sea-change in thinking" in Brussels at a time when the budget for the EU's operations is being driven downwards following years in and out of recession for the states that fund the bloc.

A 30-point plan put forward also included business-driven calls for the EU to withdraw regulation already in the pipeline—and also to avoid new legislative proposals.

The key element may well be shale energy, much of it extracted by a controversial process known as that involves cracking rock deep underground. Environmentalists argue the process can deplete and pollute groundwater.

Shale is having a radical effect on global energy markets, even though oil prices remain high due to tensions in the Middle East.

(From L, in the background) Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, European Commission President Jose Manuel Durra Barroso and Britsh Prime Minister David Cameron attend a meeting in Brussels on October 25, 2013.

It is driven by massive increases in production in Canada and particularly the United States, where falling are credited with giving a big boost to industrial productivity.

"On fracking we do need to take action across the board to enable this technology to go ahead," Cameron told a post-EU summit press conference.

Cameron said the "low-cost gas" revolution was "helping to keep America competitive" and at number three on his red-tape EU blacklist read: "Don't introduce new proposals on shale gas."

EU states are divided on fracking, with countries such as France banning the process.

Final summit conclusions on smarter regulation said there was a need for "withdrawing proposals that are no longer needed and by repealing legislation that is out of date."

But the text released by the leaders of the EU's 28 member states as a whole also kept a focus on environmental considerations.

It said regulation should always be drafted while "taking account of the need for a proper protection of consumers, health, the environment and employees."

Explore further: Brussels says no plans for EU-wide shale gas ban

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brussels says no plans for EU-wide shale gas ban

Jul 16, 2013

The European Union has no plans to impose a blanket ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial shale gas extraction method, but it will lay out rules to address environmental concerns, a top EU official ...

France upholds fracking ban

Oct 11, 2013

France's Constitutional Council on Friday upheld a law banning fracking, the controversial process used to extract shale oil and gas from the ground.

EU leaders look to energy for growth boost

May 22, 2013

EU leaders, desperate to give growth a boost, target energy policy Wednesday amid concerns a US-led revolution in shale oil and gas development will reshape the global economy and leave Europe far behind.

Poland starts shale gas extraction

Aug 28, 2013

Shale gas extraction has begun at a test well in northern Poland, a first for the EU member, a minister said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

16 hours ago

Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2013

More news stories

Six Nepalese dead, six missing in Everest avalanche

At least six Nepalese climbing guides have been killed and six others are missing after an avalanche struck Mount Everest early Friday in one of the deadliest accidents on the world's highest peak, officials ...

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

There's something ancient in the icebox

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...