British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that the continent risks being left behind in the shale gas revolution unless red tape is cut, the Times reported on Tuesday.
In a letter to Barroso, seen by the paper, Cameron said new EU legislation was “a major cause for concern” and insisted that the shale gas industry could be regulated “in a safe and sustainable manner”.
“There is clearly merit in providing additional clarity on how the existing comprehensive EU legislative framework applies to shale gas,” he wrote.
“However, I am not in favour of new legislation where the lengthy timeframes and significant uncertainty involved are major causes for concern. The industry in the UK has told us that new EU legislation would immediately delay imminent investment,” he added.
The prime minister pointed out that the US had already cut gas imports by more than 50 percent since discovering how to exploit previously unworkable gas fields.
China also stands to benefit from its vast shale gas reserves. - Sapa-AFP