Germany to Pass a Law Banning Fracking for the Foreseeable Future

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Germany to Pass a Law Banning Fracking for the Foreseeable FutureGermany is considering enacting a law that will ban fracking for the next few years. Authorities intend to prohibit fracking in coal beds and shale rocks in depths that are less than 3 kilometres deep (1.8 miles) and ban all fracking techniques in water protection zones, said Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Friday.

Hendricks told a press briefing that the government will begin drawing rules on the issue and have it approved in the final half of this year. The legislation will be reviewed in 2021.

Germany has always allowed hydraulic fracturing for tight gas, a process that has been employed since the 1960s. However, the practice will be permitted under restrictive conditions for fracking fluids. Hydrofracturing will only be authorized for scientific reasons only if the fluids used in the process are found not to be detrimental to water resources.

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Citizens have opposed fracking despite the fact that the government intends to use it to tap local energy sources as it nears the closure of nuclear plants by the year 2022. Public resistance has ensured that energy firms such as Exxon Mobil Corp., which has already sunk test wells, in order to evaluate shale gas reserves.

However, Julia Verlinden, the opposition Green Party energy spokeswoman, criticized the rules, saying that they may create loopholes that will pave way for the use of fracking later on.

“If you want to prevent fracking, you don’t need science projects,” Ms. Verlinden said, as quoted by Bloomberg News. “The risk to harm our ground and drinking water supplies with fracking doesn’t justify the short-term drilling for comparably little gas.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly fracking, is a technique used in extracting oil and natural gas by blasting a high-pressure solution of chemicals, water and sand in order to open up shale rocks to unlock the trapped oil or gas. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com