Discussions in the Parliament on the Commission’s offshore drilling Proposal has given mixed messages, with two reports backing a strong legislative response to protect against oil leaks, whilst another rejected several measures, seemingly having caved under the pressure of the oil and gas industry.

Discussions in the Parliament on the Commission’s offshore drilling Proposal has given mixed messages, with two reports backing a strong legislative response to protect against oil leaks, whilst another rejected several measures, seemingly having caved under the pressure of the oil and gas industry.

The European Parliament's Environment Committee, which has exclusive competencies on parts of the Commission’s proposal, sent positive signals by supporting the Commission’s proposal for regulation and suggested stricter rules on financial liability and on drilling in sensitive environments such as the Arctic.

Likewise, the JURI Committee, which also has exclusive competencies, supported the Commission’s proposal for regulation and called for similar improvements like those proposed by ENVI. Going even further, the JURI Committee also encouragingly has requested for EU oversight of offshore operations by extending the mandate of the European Maritime Safety Agency to monitor proper implementation of EU rules.

However, and with no surprise, the Industry committee (ITRE) which is taking the lead role on this issue, is pushing to turn the proposal into a Directive with weaker provisions on governance and harmonization of safety standards and has perilously aligned its position to the “business as usual” approach that has been staunchly defended by the oil and gas industry.

Bellona, Oceana, Seas At Risk and Client Earth urge the European Parliament to remain committed to high safety and environmental standards across the EU and to act in the interest of all EU states. Inspiration from other existing European legislation on industrial safety and accident-prevention must drive policy makers to better regulate the offshore oil and gas sector in the exact same way as dangerous and risky activities are governed on land.

For more information on our requests to strengthen the Commission Proposal, see our press release published in advance of the Committee meetings

 
 
 

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