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Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Press Release April 16th 2020:

European Energy Commissioner Simson tells Irish eNGO that PCI Regulation "gives an explicit priority to energy policy over environmental policy". 

European Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, wrote to Irish eNGO 'Communities for Environment  First' on March 6th, 2020, informing it that  the PCI Regulation 347/2013, used to select Projects of Common Interest, "gives an explicit priority to energy policy over environment policy".

Her remarks, which have now been forwarded to the European Ombudsman in its inquiry into alleged maladministration by the European Commission in its assessment of the candidate projects on the 4th PCI List, have shocked in their air of untouchable directness.

In what can only be descibed as blatant attempts by Commissioner Simson to obfuscate the obvious promotion of US  Fracked Gas import projects, she stated that "there is no indication that the Shannon LNG Terminal would be proposed for one source of gas", even though the promoter, New Fortress Energy, had cleary informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission in writing, on November 9th 2018, that it intended to supply its future customers with LNG from stranded  US gas, which would include fracked gas. To support this argument, the Commissioner then referred to an amateurish map on Shannon LNG's website to somehow assume the intentions of the promoter are to seek global sources of LNG, pushing the levels of credibility to the limit.

Commissioner Simson admitted clearly that the "sustainability benefits calculated for gas projects were not taken into account in the ranking of the projects by the Regional groups", even though this was against the law and procedures prescribed by the PCI Regulation.

In comments that a child would not believe, Commissioner Simson stated that  "the current underlying assumption in the CBA [Cost Benefit Analysis] is that all gas projects would automatically show only postive benefits towards CO2 mitigation with no negative impact" - with no consideration whatsoever of the climate impacts of the GHG emissions from the full life cycle methane leakage from the proposed Shannon LNG fracked gas import terminal in Ireland, the real elephant in the room. So not only is the Commission attempting to blur the fact that there is a different climate impact from fracked and conventional gas by treating all gas as the same, she is also trying to pretend she knows nothing about fracked gas coming in to Europe specifically.

In an attempt to right the wrongs of the 4th PCI list, the Commission then admitted that "an updated sustainability criterion" would "be used for assessing candidate PCI projects for the 5th list". The assessment would however be limited to methane leakage in the Member State with no account taken of the most destructive non-territorial emissions, thereby gaming  the system and prejudging the outcome of the assessments to the benefit of the fracked gas projects - her exact words being "In particular, this indicator would consider the infrastructure's expected impact on the overall GHG intensity or energy production in a given Member State and the emissions related to the functioning of the infrastructure itself".

 It seems there are no limits to what the Commission will do to protect international trade in filthy fracked gas.

There is a functional interdependence between fracked gas imports into Europe from the US and fracking within the US, leading to accelerated global warming. Any serious sustainability assessment, if it is to comply fully with the requirements of the PCI Regulation 347/2013, must assess the non-territorial and full life-cycle emissions from fracked gas imports. For the Commission to ignore the deadly climate impacts of the trade in fracked US gas, is only to undermine the Green New Deal proposed by Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.


 Click here to download the  EU Ombudsman Inquiry into the refusal by DG Energy to assess sustainability criteria of the 4th PCI list