Greenpeace Calls for Deep Sea Drilling Ban as Commission Shakes Up Oil Rules

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Franziska Achterberg – Greenpeace EU transport policy advisor:
+32 (0)498 362403 (mobile), franziska.achterberg@greenpeace.org

Jack Hunter – Greenpeace EU communications officer:
+32 (0)2 274 1915, +32 (0)476 988584 (mobile), jack.hunter@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace Calls for Deep Sea Drilling Ban as Commission Shakes Up Oil Rules

WASHINGTON - New deep sea oil operations should be banned as the only sure
way of preventing a Deepwater Horizon-like spill in Europe,
Greenpeace said in response to today’s shake-up of offshore
drilling rules by the European Commission.

Greenpeace research,
published next week, will show that deep sea drilling, tar sands
and other dirty and dangerous extraction methods would not be
needed if the EU set better
fuel-efficiency
standards for vehicles.

Greenpeace EU
transport policy advisor Franziska Achterberg said:
“The safest way to guard against a
deepwater disaster in Europe is not to go there in the first
place. This kind of drilling is almost certain to create a
Deepwater Horizon-like spill for Europe no matter how tight
the rules. Regulators will always be playing catch-up as the
industry chases after ever dirtier and more dangerous fuel
reserves to keep up with demand. Deep water drilling should be
banned. We simply don’t need it if we boost fuel efficiency.

"Disappointingly,

on the day after the US ended its deep sea drilling
moratorium, Commissioner Oettinger has now distanced himself
from his call earlier call for a moratorium and suspension of
some of Europe's riskier projects.”

The Commission proposes an overhaul of EU legislation to plug regulatory
gaps and to position the EU Maritime Safety Agency to oversee
national regulators’ enforcement of existing rules. A separate
proposal to strengthen the EU’s disaster response is announced
for later this year. Legislative proposals could come “by Spring
2011”, according to the Communication.

The Commission proposes an
EU-wide licencing scheme setting minimum requirements for
operators, including on technical and financial capability to
deal with accidents. It argues that a national fragmented
approach would
slow down disaster
response, leave areas of legal uncertainty and
penalise EU countries with higher standards because
of the effects of spills in countries with low standards.

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Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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