22-02-2014PERE BOTA

The Balearic government today expressed its satisfaction that the oil and gas prospecting rights issued by the former national government under Jose Luis Zapatero (PSOE - socialists) to the British company Cairn Energy have been suspended. Cairn Energy were due to have prospected in the Gulf of Valencia, which would have meant that prospecting would have taken place in Balearic water, provoking widespread opposition across the islands.

However, Balearic government spokesperson, Marc Pons, said that the decision by Madrid is not enough because there are still two prospecting operations and one of these is in Balearic waters. Nevertheless, the suspension, he said, is the first step towards the permits being cancelled.

According to an entry in the Official Bulletin, these permissions, called Benifayó, Gandía, Alta Mar 1 and Alta Mar 2, have been suspended pending environmental impact assessments. Following the resolution to extinguish them, “on account of relinquishment by the holder,” the areas in question revert to the state and will acquire a status of being free and registrable within six months.

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Steve Riches / Hace over 5 years

The environment is vital. So is power to keep us alive. If there is oil or gas under the sea that is recoverable some level of compromise must be reached. We cannot say "No" to everything and yet still expect the light to come on when we depress the switch.

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