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EU states led by U.K., France reject energy regulator

European Union energy ministers rejected the idea of a single regulator for electricity and natural gas markets, undermining European Commission President Jose Barroso's bid to tear down barriers in the 25-nation bloc, Bloomberg reported from Brussels.  

“It's very important that the independent nations -- U.K., France, Germany -- maintain their own energy policies,” British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks told reporters at a meeting with his EU counterparts on Tuesday. French Industry Minister Francois Loos, also in charge of energy, said “it's premature” to create a European regulator.

 

Barroso last week called for a Europe-wide energy regulator to ensure competition in the EU's €250 billion power and gas markets, seeking to counter national monopolies and reduce bills. He also demanded authority to manage fuel stocks in emergencies and negotiate European energy accords with suppliers such as Russia.