The Estonian oil shale processing company VKG announced the dismissal of 500 employees on Friday, saying that the measure was the result of the low oil prices.

The business daily Äripäev proposes coupling the raw materials tax the oil shale sector pays to oil prices in a bid to help the flailing industry:

“With this step the state would make it possible for the companies to save money in difficult times without the state having to dispense with tax revenues when oil prices go up once more. If you look at Estonia’s gross national product VKG makes a significant contribution, not to mention the important role the company plays in the Ida-Virumaa region. So there has to be a solution both at the state and local level. At a time when the rest of the world is switching to renewable energy sources Estonia must start thinking about how the shale oil industry can be developed in a way that makes it profitable but also environmentally friendly.”