Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Merkel to ban shale gas exploration in Germany?

If what Der Spiegel writes is true, the current political leaders of Germany are not only ignorant, but also incredibly stupid:

Germany has put the brakes on plans to use hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, to extract natural gas in places where it is difficult to access, such as shale or coal beds. Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler have agreed to oppose the controversial process for the time being, SPIEGEL has learned.

Sources in the German government said that the ministers were "very skeptical" about fracking, which injects chemicals as well as sand and water into the ground to release natural gas. "There are many open questions which we will first have to carefully examine," Rösler told close associates.
With their stance, the two ministers are opposing plans by energy companies to use the fracking process to tap into deposits of natural gas in shale, especially in northern and eastern Germany. In order to access the gas, the shale needs to be fractured using a mixture of hot water, sand and chemical additives, some of which are poisonous. Environmental groups reject the use of the technology, saying that the chemicals used can contaminate drinking water. 

Read the entire article here

No doubt the greenies and Gazprom will applaud this stupidity, but when the price of the Energiewende (energy transition policy) becomes clear - and it will not take long - voters in Germany will not forget who is responsible for the mess.

All major studies show that hydraulic fracturing is both safe and reliable. Even environmentalists appear to be prepared to accept this fact:

- Environmentalists and the energy industry appear to be edging towards a consensus that would permit a big expansion in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in exchange for stricter rules on engineering procedures such as well casing and cementing.
In a thoughtful article in the "Wall Street Journal", Russell Gold explains how energy officials and some environmental campaigners are converging on the view that poor well construction, rather than fracking itself, has been responsible for recorded instances of groundwater contamination ("Faulty Wells, Not Fracking, Blamed for Water Pollution", March 12).

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