- COMMISSION SHRUGS OFF LOOMING OIL SHORTAGE AS ‘JUST A THEORY’
The EU’s energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs has admitted he has no plan to deal with rapidly rising oil and gas prices in the face of shrinking supply and booming demand.
In a response to a parliamentary question put by Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas, he shrugs off the so-called ‘Peak Oil’ scenario as ‘no more than a theory’.
Dr Lucas, an MEP for South-East England and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment and International Trade Committees, said: “The Commission’s attitude represents a frightening dereliction of duty.
“An increasing number of scientists and energy experts are warning that declining oil production, public over-statements of oil reserves and booming demand for oil and gas in China and India mean that the point of ‘Peak Oil’ – when growing demand for oil outstrips falling supply – will occur sooner than is openly suggested.
“Some argue we have already passed the Peak Oil point, pointing to rapidly rising prices and the fact that new oilfields being are being discovered more slowly than oil demand is increasing.”
Mr Piebalgs said the EU was ‘reflecting on an energy policy framework’ but admitted future proposals would likely be restricted to a common energy policy – a solution likely to prove politically unpopular in the UK ad elsewhere in Europe.
Analysts have argued that both the EU and UK must start planning for an oil-free future, to maintain security of energy supplies whilst reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases which are fuelling dangerous climate change.
Dr Lucas added: “We have already begun to face energy shocks as oil and gas become more scarce and expensive. If we are to maintain security of energy supply whilst preventing a rush towards more damaging sources such as nuclear and coal, every level of government should be engaged now in planning for peak oil and investing real capital – both financial and political – in renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
“As this certainly isn’t just a European problem, we must be working diplomatically to ensure that other countries do the same, cutting their dependence on oil in a socially just way.”