EU stops short of offshore drilling ban

BRUSSELS, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A provision adopted by the European Parliament in Brussels tightens oil and gas safety laws but stops short of calling for a moratorium on deep-water drilling.

Washington imposed a moratorium on deep-water oil and gas exploration in U.S. waters after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill while lawmakers review the industry's safety regulations.


Lawmakers in the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution that clamps down on safety mechanisms for deep-water activity and compensation in the event of a spill. The measure stops short of calling for a moratorium on drilling, however.

A majority of the voting members in Parliament said they thought a moratorium was too strict.

The European Parliament said a major oil spill in European waters would devastate the fishing and tourism sector as well as have catastrophic effects on the environment.

Jo Leinen, the chairman of the European Environment Committee, said lawmakers have sent a strong message to the energy industry and environmental regulators in the European community.

"Parliament has issued a clear call to the commission to take steps toward eliminating the deficits in safety and liability standards," he said.

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