People power wins oil battle

THE Spanish Government opposes prospecting for oil off Nerja and Torrox.

The Agriculture, Food and Environment Ministry is against exploring for oil in the Alboran Sea, specifically off the coast of Nerja and Torrox, in Malaga Province, and other coastal areas in Granada, it said in a statement.

Following several protests organised by local citizens, Nerja and Torrox  also rejected the proposal. 

Prospecting for oil would be detrimental to tourism and the environment in the area, said the councils. 

As stated in an environmental impact report, the project does not comply with environmental protection requirements. This is in fact the reason why Madrid is not supporting the idea.

The government’s environmental statement is now to be sent to the company involved, to the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry and to the Official State Bulletin for publication. 

Back in May, collectives from several Spanish communities came together to protest against seismic surveys being carried out off the Spanish coast. The groups from the Balearic Islands, Cataluña, Andalucia, Valencia and the Canary Islands united against what they said was ‘an environmental disaster’.

The groups suggested that the government look for alternative energy sources, which would not be dependent on oil but rather based on renewable means, including wave and wind power. 

Furthermore, they called upon the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry not to pay heed to the needs of oil companies but rather to those of society, as seismic surveys could affect the way of life of communities, they said.

Before offshore oil drilling can be given the green light, oil companies conduct exploratory tests, or seismic surveys, to make sure that hydrocarbons are actually present in the area.

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