Commission backs pan-European pipeline

The construction of a Black Sea oil pipeline claimed to significantly reduce the chances of tanker accidents was endorsed by the European Commission on Tuesday.

The proposed pipeline would link the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania to oil facilities in Trieste, Italy and would also connect to pipelines there that run to Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

EC Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: "This project is a good example of enhanced co-operation among the members of the Energy Community."

The European Commission also claimed the "Pan-European Oil Pipeline" would significantly reduce the chances of a serious accident in the Bosphurus Straits, the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas.

The agreement was signed in Zagreb as part of the "South-East Europe Co-operation Process" also involving Albania, FYROM, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Greece, and Moldova as an observer.

But environmental group Greenpeace said that while the proposed pipeline may curb water pollution, it is part of an inherently polluting system based on fossil fuels.

"While it is a good thing to reduce any possibility of environmental damage from the transport of oil, what the EU should be investing far more money in is a proper and widespread renewable energy strategy for Europe," Nigel Campbell of Greenpeace told edie.

"We should be moving away from dependency on fossil fuels and towards renewable resources such as wind, solar, and investment in energy efficiency measures," he said.

Dana Gornitzki



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