Germany is edging closer towards issuing a permanent ban on fracking after the President of Federal Environment Agency (UBA) Maria Krautzberger tabled the organization’s Fracking-II report in Berlin yesterday, reported EurActiv.de.
“As long as crucial risks related to this technology cannot be predicted and likewise cannot be controlled, fracking should not be used in Germany to extract shale and coal-bed gas,” concluded Krautzberger.”Fracking is and remains a risky technology. For this reason it requires tight safeguards to protect the environment and health.”
German businesses have been pushing for the use of fracking technology to free the country from reliance on gas imports from Russia, which is currently at loggerheads with the West over its interference in the Ukraine crisis.
However, politicians, along with the environmentally-minded citizens, are still unconvinced that fracking is safe. Recently, Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel settled on a fracking moratorium until 2022, encompassing unconventional coal-bed and shale gas reserves of up to 3,000 meters. However, the agreement exempts R&D projects.
Krautzberger proposed that the guidelines presented by Ms. Hendricks and Mr. Gabriel be immediately made law, as this will clear any ambiguity concerning the legal framework regulating the use of fracking. She also proposed that the Federal Water Act be amended to ban extraction of coal-bed and shale gas deposits.
The UBA also recommended comprehensive risk and environment impact assessments on all fracking projects targeted at extracting oil and natural gas, including on experimental projects.
The Environment Agency also criticized the fracking boom in the US, saying that it contributed to climate change and recommended further investment in renewable energies. The agency’s study is part of a large environmental research program, with the first report having been released on August 2012, in which it cautioned against large-scale fracking in the country. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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