The PSOE has rectified its energy policy maintained until the Russian invasion of Ukraine against activating new gas pipelines and regasification plants and has voted together with the Popular Party and Citizens causing a new split in the coalition government.
The Congress of Deputies has approved by an overwhelming majority of 291 votes in favor a non-law proposal from the PP on gas interconnections after this political force agreed on a new transactional wording with the PSOE and Ciudadanos. However, Podemos and usual investiture partners of the PSOE have voted against considering that it means reactivating an energy source such as gas.
With the approved text, Parliament supports the construction of the Midcat gas pipeline, considered “crucial” by the European Commission to bring gas from Spain through the Pyrenees and thus reduce dependence on Russia. The parliamentary proposal urges the Government to simplify the necessary procedures so that it is considered a project of common interest and has European funding. The PSOE points out that it accepts because it will be an infrastructure “compatible with green hydrogen”. The approval is a notorious lurch for the PSOE, since the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, had buried the Midcat project since 2018 within her commitment to gradually eliminate gas as an energy source. In fact, it has not been built, because neither she nor her French counterpart have so far even wanted to assess its interest, according to the European Commission.
Finally, the deputies of the PSOE, the PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, the PNV, Foro Asturias and the Catalans of Esquerra and PdeCAT have supported this initiative since the gas pipeline will cross their autonomous community. On the contrary, United We Can, EH-Bildu, the CUP, Más País-Equo, the BNG and Compromís have rejected the proposal, while Junts and Teruel Exists have abstained.
According to the approved text, the Parliament urges “strengthening and continuing to advance in the development of gas, electricity and transport infrastructure in Spain, with special attention to interconnections with the rest of the European continent”. It is about “favoring the export of gas to Northern Europe by taking advantage of the powerful network of gasifiers in the Spanish system, as well as the deployment of renewable technologies in our territory”.
Even Parliament supports strengthening the network of gasifiers, which is already the largest in the EU, resurrecting one more, the hitherto hibernated El Musel, in Asturias. “as an ‘offshore’ storage and supply logistics point” to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to other European regasification facilities and facilitate the guarantee of supply to our European partners in the current geopolitical context without entailing a cost for the Spanish consumers.
WE CAN AGAINST
The vote marks a division in the Government on an essential chapter of energy policy. United We Can, a partner of the PSOE in the Government, already warned during the debate that it would not support the proposal considering that gas could not be considered a green energy, due to the level of polluting emissions during its extraction and transport, and recalling the doubts on the feasibility of the aforementioned gas pipeline.
Thus, his deputy Laura López Domínguez pointed out during the debate, according to Europa Press, that the analysis of this project, before being discarded, showed that, far from lowering the bill, it would increase it due to its cost, but that it would not reduce energy dependence either. , even after simulating a cut in the Russian supply or in the connection with the Maghreb.
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