SNP MEP and sole member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee, Alyn Smith has welcomed the news that Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is willing to revise the legislative form of the European Commission's proposal on the safety of offshore oil and gas platforms.
Commissioner Oettinger told the Energy Council at a meeting in Luxembourg that he will be flexible on the choice of legal form. Alyn has objected to the proposed regulation, preferring the flexibility of a directive, and had raised the issue at a meeting with Oettinger.
"I am encouraged by the news and grateful to Commissioner Oettinger for his flexibility.
"I am reiterating the unanimous views of industry and union representatives when I say that the package as it was drafted is a retrograde step.
"The proposal was well intentioned, but was simply not fit for purpose. A recent joint industry and trade union paper argued the regulation would be a step backwards, and an analysis by Fitch Ratings concluded that the proposed regulation could cost the sector billions of pounds with no benefit.
"We all share the same concerns, and we are all committed to ensuring the highest health and safety and environmental standards possible. In Scotland, we take the issue very seriously. Piper Alpha remains a national trauma, and we do not need reminding that there is no room for complacency.
"There is still some way to go, but I am committed to working towards a solution which helps, rather than hinders."