EU official considers drilling moratorium

July 8, 2010 at 7:59 AM

BRUSSELS, July 8 (UPI) -- The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico should act as a warning to member states of the European Union, an EU official says.

Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has told members of the European Parliament he is considering suggesting a moratorium on new deep-water drilling permits in light of the BP disaster, the EUobserver reported Thursday.

"I think it is really not justifiable to be issuing licenses or permits for further drilling operations at this moment," Oettinger said.

The energy commissioner added he has started discussions with major oil companies aimed to develop new rules on supervision, emergency planning, clean-up and environmental liability.

Oettinger said even though the EU plans to move toward renewable energy, Europe will be dependent on oil for decades to come.

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