Victor Ponta: There is an option to allow EU countries to adapt legislation for shale gas exploration

There is certainly an option to allow the EU member states to adapt their legislation in order to encourage the explorations and exploitations of shale gas, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a press conference in Brussels, at the end of the European Council meeting on Wednesday.

‘We discussed, with a significant support from Poland, from our side, from Lithuania’s side, and from other countries’ side, already conducting explorations concerning the new types of energy, shale gas, to be specific. There is certainly an option to allow the EU member states to adapt their legislation in order to encourage the explorations and exploitations. A European single policy will not be established in the coming period, but most European countries going in this direction have the guarantee that any new energy source, with the obvious observance of all environmental protection standards, is welcome,’ the Romanian Prime Minister said.

In context, he added that European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso drew the attention on the loss of competitiveness Europe was confronted with, mainly in report with the US, where the energy prices, the gas prices, in particular, had declined over the past few years, while in Europe all energy prices went up. Moreover, as concerns the renewable energies, the officials underscored their efficiency importance in terms of costs.

‘We reached a conclusion as far as the renewable energies are concerned: we continue investments, but we must make these renewable energy sources be cost-effective, therefore make them bring some benefits, so the subsidies can be as reduced as possible, and this means that for Romania – and I presented this point of view – we are planning to balance the subsidy policy in the case of renewable energy, so that the costs resulted be bearable both for the industry area and concerning the prices for households,’ Victor Ponta pointed out.

He showed the discussions within the Council meeting also approached the topic of the necessary resources for improving the energy transport infrastructure.

‘I highlighted the importance of Nabucco project for Romania, which means the gas pipeline coming from Azerbaijan, further to Europe, through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. I also raised the issue and underscored once more our commitment to complete by the end of this year the gas interconnection with the Republic of Moldova, this actually meaning Romania’s extra need for new gas resources, be those of Azerbaijan, within Nabucco project, or those in the off-shore area, and the need for new energy resources,’ Ponta said.

He underscored that, concerning the energy security, Romania could not only identify new energy resources, but take all necessary measures to secure the reduction in its dependence on imports, also mentioning our country’s capacity of becoming an energy exporter in the region.

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