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U.S. policy is conducive for new investments in energy transition said Repsol's CEO

The U.S, is attracting investment in renewables through new legislation while the European Union's rules could deter investors, the head of Spanish energy company Repsol said on Monday.

"Speaking as a European, you are lucky guys," Repsol Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz told the CERAWeek energy conference in the capital of the U.S. oil industry, Houston.

U.S. President Joe Biden's signature climate change legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), was passed into law in August 2022.

The IRA's $370 B in climate spending included provisions to cut carbon emission and boost domestic production and manufacturing of renewables and low-carbon fuels.

The European Union, by contrast, has struggled to formulate clear legislation to attract investment.

"You have the framework to make decisions. Simplicity is from my point of view one of the main features of the IRA and that is very important for investors... you have a broad possibility to invest in many areas in the United States."

"What you have here is a carrot, what we have in Europe to boost the energy transition is a stick."

The IRA laid out a framework for hydrogren, carbon capture, biofuels and synethetic biofuels, he said. In Europe, each is dealt with differently and there are many conditions attached to development of renewable energy.

"The IRA is a great opportunity for investors and Repsol is going to be there," he said.

Imaz also said that the European Union's proposed plan to ban internal combustion cars was a "mistake."

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