febrero 12, 2014


By José Ortega, Spanish lawyer that fights bad practice of the law that protects our coasts.


The campaign to install a oil drilling industry in the Gulf of Valencia CAN BE STOPPED.

As many of you might know, I have some experience in the European Parliament and for the moment, every action I have made there, has gone well.

Two days ago I submitted a petition to the Committee on Petitions on behalf of the fishing industry in Valencia. The petition I prepared is meant to be used by any citizen for the same purpose. If a large number of people send the petition, the European Parliament will take it seriously and act .

The aim is to break the agenda of the Ministry of Cairn , I mean the Ministry of Industry . I think they will approve the environmental impact around April or May and authorise the prospections towards the beginning of August, exactly when the courts are closed and lawyers are on vacation. The company plans to start to work in October, so an appeal to the court in the first week of September would be of no use. It would be too late. The admission would be made later this month and will not allow time to process the separate injunctive relief (i.e. , to ask for the preventive suspension order) before the oil company starts work.

We can make the European Union become interested in the subject and get the record out of the chains of the government. The European Union can ask the Spanish Government to clarify why they dare to make any kind of negotiation on areas that are exclusively the European Union’s responsibility. This brake in the chain, even if it is only a bureaucratic process , would make the Project fail and have to wait a whole new year to start over, and only then if they get permission to do it. During that year we could get much better organized to give the Ministry of Industry , a decisive social, politic and legal response.

To file a petition directly through the Internet , you have to click on the link below and fill out the form. Where it says TITLE REQUEST, write «petition against oil exploration in the Gulf of Valencia». Where it says TEXT OF PETITION paste the text that I paste below.





Committee on Petitions

Before the European Parliament, to which this petition shall be sent, comes now ………………………………………………., of legal age and …………………….. nationality with my legal address at ………………………………………………………………………………. WHO STATES:

This is a complain against the Kingdom of Spain in relation to the permits for hydrocarbons research in the Gulf of Valencia that follow:

The Government of Spain granted by Royal Decree 1774/2010, of 23 December and 1775 /2010, also of 23 December, two separate hydrocarbons research permits in the Gulf of Valencia. The permits were granted in favour of the company MEDOIL and also for Capricorn Spain Limited, a subsidiary of the Scottish company Cairn .

Permissions are granted based on the regulation of oil approved by Royal Decree 2362/1976 of 30 July, therefore prior to the Constitution of Spain and Spain’s accession to the then European Economic Community, and regardless of the current regulatory framework.

Then MEDOIL gave the permission received to CAPRICORN, whom started to prepare the seafloor exploration to determine points to be drilled. To this end, they propose to create a three-dimensional model of the seabed and its lower layers produced by a source emitting 259 decibels of noise at a very low frequency that can cause mass death of animals and their eggs and larvae, as well as stress reactions on smaller species that survived and make them flee. The damage of these emissions, according to experts, is particularly bad in the case of cetaceans.

Moreover, according to Professor Miguel Rodilla, from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, future drilling will reach very old seafloor strata, possibly Carboniferous and beyond, and will cross water bags whose physiochemical characteristics differ much from the water we know now, because it will has  low PH (acidic water ) and is rich in heavy metals, maybe even radioactive elements.

The drilling process will entail the removal of these waters and its release to the marine environment, which implies the possibility of dumping toxic and radioactive isotopes with consequences of degradation of the marine environment and harm to public health.

These activities are subject to administrative approval in its successive phases, indicating that it should be allowed: a) The research in «generic» terms, b) The specific acts of investigation c) The experimental drilling d) The final installation of the extractive industry.

Even being necessary this succession of licenses, the initial granting of research permits assigns legitimacy to the company to get the corresponding administrative authorizations for prospecting and drilling, ever after proceedings and an environmental impact statement. It should be noted that only the 3D seismic project has a budget of 24 million euro, so that once the investment is made, it is unimaginable that the Government will refuse the subsequent drilling permit.

The case is at present in the process of authorization of the 3D seismic survey, in which the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment must issue, in this case, the environmental impact statement as a prerequisite to approval by the Ministry of Industry. There are thousands of allegations lodged by nationals of Baleares and Valencia who reject the installation of the oil industry in its seas, which we consider a framework democracy must be taken into full account by the authorities.

The reason for this petition to the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament is that the Kingdom of Spain has acted behind the European Union in all procedures unwrapped until now, even though Article 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it assigns to EU the exclusive competence for the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy.

In the scope of these powers Regulation (EC) 1967/2006 of 21 December 2006 concerning management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea was issued. It is also relevant the Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environment (Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy ). The preamble of this final rule contains references such as:

«Clearly, the pressure on natural marine resources and the demand for marine ecological services are often too high and that the Community needs to reduce its impact on marine waters regardless of where their effects occur».

It adds :

«The marine environment is a healthy precious heritage that must be protected, preserved and, where feasible, restored with the ultimate aim of maintaining biodiversity and preserving diversity and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean and production . In this regard this Directive should, inter alia, promote the integration of environmental considerations into all relevant policies and deliver the environmental pillar of the future maritime policy for the European Union».

Article 2 of the rule states:

1. This Directive establishes a framework within which Member States shall take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment no later than year 2020 .

2. For this purpose marine strategies will be developed and implement to:

a) protect and preserve the marine environment, prevent its deterioration or, to the extent practicable, restore marine ecosystems in areas that have been adversely affected;

b ) prevent and reduce inputs in the marine environment, with a view to phasing out pollution as defined in Article 3, paragraph 8, to ensure that no significant impacts put marine biodiversity or marine ecosystems, human health or legitimate uses of the sea at risk.

3. Marine strategies shall apply an ecosystematic approach to management of human activities, ensuring that the collective pressure of such activities is kept compatible with the achievement of good environmental status levels and that the capability of marine ecosystems to respond is not compromised by human-induced changes, while allowing sustainable use of marine goods and services by present and future generations.

It seems clear that the competence of the European Union on marine biological resources, if it is exercised within the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy, must be extended to any aggression that may occur even if those resources from external agents to fishing.  Otherwise due caution regulation on technical measures in the Mediterranean and the sacrifice required of seafarers for the conservation of resources and curb overfishing would become worthless .

We believe that the Kingdom of Spain not only acts against what is provided in Article 2 (transcript ) of Directive 2008/56/EC, but essentially injured the exclusive competence of the European Union through the following acts:

–First, the granting of licenses to prospect for hydrocarbons by the two Royal Decrees to which I have referred. It is true that these permissions do not directly authorize any particular act of intervention on the marine environment , but they do constitute the legal basis that allows the company to start the process for approval of specific acts of prospecting and especially 3D seismic survey.  Its provision implies that the marine environment and biological resources are committed, as the authorized investigation is to be done (regardless of their technical resources) in the sea.

The Government of Spain, in advance, gave the permissions based in old laws prior to the Constitution of Spain and to being part of the European Economic Community, regardless of changes in the law during those years and especially of powers which holds the European Union.

–Second, as to the procedure currently open for the environmental impact statement of the campaign 3D seismic acquisition, the Kingdom of Spain, as far as I know, have not  reported, requested or required authorization of the European Union, despite that the environment is a shared competence with the Member States, and especially the conservation of marine biological resources is an exclusive competence of the European Union, and in my opinion,  the UE is competent not just to report, but to give or deny an authorization (prior record of public information, understand).

In virtue ,

I ASK: Have made ​​this petition to be served and held that the acts of the Government of Spain described injure powers of the European Union and therefore urge him :

–To declare the nullity of the Royal Decrees of hydrocarbon research authorization, for infringement of the powers of the European Union.

–To suspend administrative procedures for the approval of the 3D seismic acquisition campaign and make the request of the company authorizing the European Union.




  1. […] The petition can be completed in ANY European language, can be accessed and filled in online and the link to all info is here. […]


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