Theresa Griffin MEP pushes Commissioner Candidate for Climate Action & Energy on links to oil industry

At the European Parliament in Brussels, Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England has pushed Conservative Commissioner-Designate Miguel Arias Cañete on his links to the oil industry.

Speaking at the European Parliament Hearings into the candidates for the European Commission, Ms Griffin asked Mr Cañete, the candidate for the position of European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, how he intends to be objective in his dealings with the industry.

“Although Mr Cañete recently sold his shares in the Petrolifera Ducar and Petrologis oil companies, this does not mean he longer has any ties to the industry.

“Mr Cañete chaired those companies; he built up a network and created strong connections with the industry. In light of this, it will be very difficult to remain objective given his proposed portfolio” Ms Griffin said.

Mr Cañete responded by saying “in case there was at some time a conflict of interest, we have now the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and it displays clearly the way forward and I will follow it if needed”.

“In light of his comments at this hearing and his failure to adequately address questions surrounding his close ties to the oil industry, I have serious concerns about the suitability of his candidacy for the position of Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy”, Ms Griffin said.

Ms Griffin also pushed the Mr Cañete on the issue of energy poverty amid rising energy prices across Europe, telling him “No citizen in Europe should be forced to choose between heating and eating”.