Watching the World: Europe steps on the gas

Behind the stated objective of the European Commission's natural gas directive, which came into force on Aug. 10, of "ensur[ing] the free movement of gas and improv[ing] security of supply and industrial competitiveness," is the more nebulous notion of leveling the competitive playing field among those member states exporting and importing gas.As is necessarily the case, liberalization plans tabled as a byword to lower energy prices and commercial egalitarianism swiftly bring to the fore-at least in the near term-more questions than answers.To start, there is the immediate problem of enforcing the pace of liberalization in Europe. Germany, Luxembourg, and France all missed the EC'...

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