TALLINN - Economy Minister Juhan Parts thinks that Estonia should consider the possibilities of increasing the country’s oil shale mining capacity, contrary to the opinions of Environment Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, reports Public Broadcasting.
Parts said at an oil shale symposium on Monday that the environmental effects cast by the Estonian oil shale industry have drastically decreased. “This gives us the possibility of considering whether the current mining restrictions are appropriate,” said the minister.
He said that it is possible that using shale oil could be increased while keeping the environmental effects unchanged, or even reducing them.
The Environment Ministry announced at the beginning of April that, according to the oil shale development plan application plan, the amount of oil shale waste hasn’t been reduced as planned over the past few years. The Ministry remarked that the oil shale industry is responsible for around 80 percent of Estonian waste, water use and CO2 emissions as well as almost all of the sulphur pollution.
Environment Minister Pentus-Rosimann said that, she doesn’t consider it realistic to increase the oil shale mining volume, which is 20 million tons a year. “That would be too much for our nature,” she said, adding that oil shale should be used more reasonably so that it would yield as much additional value as possible.