Canary Islands president discusses oil drilling plans

LAST UPDATED: 13 Feb, 2014 @ 15:24
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Canary Islands president discusses oil drilling plans

THE government of the Canary Islands is to debate proposals to drill for oil in waters off the coasts of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

President Paulino Rivero will address both the regional parliament and the Congress of Deputies whether whether or not they believe Repsol should be allowed to undertake the project.

The company already has pending environmental permits, and has stated it will be able to start the work in the second half of the year.

Canary Islands authorities estimate that the research would endanger the environment of the islands, which is the base of its tourism industry and the backbone of its economy.

Repsol says it has enough technology to avoid any catastrophe.

The news comes as the prospect of oil drilling off the coast of Ibiza becomes increasingly likely, despite mounting backlash from the Balaeric Island’s residents, government, and army of holidaymakers.

Insiders say the only real hope of stopping exploration for oil off Ibiza will be on environmental grounds. In its new energy plan, the EU has decreed that there should be a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 27% increase in renewable energy use by 2030.

If its view is that the oil exploration project flies in the face of its new proposals and would genuinely herald dire consequences for marine life, there’s a good chance that it could turn up the heat and make life very uncomfortable for the Spanish government.

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