Germany mulls over plans to draft rules in the next few weeks for regulating fracking in the country as the country’s business community presses the government to find an alternative to Russian energy imports.
The new rules will involve bans in areas where water is tightly protected and environmental audits. Germany’s coalition parties promised last year to enact a legal framework to regulate hydraulic fracturing, reported Reuters.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing involves blasting a mixture of chemicals, water and sand at high pressure into the underground shale formations to release trapped oil and natural gas. Most environmentalists have expressed concerns that the technique could pollute underground water sources. The chemicals used in the process have also been found to be harmful to humans and wildlife.
Fracking has been used in Germany for many years to extract “deep-lying” gas, though there has been a ban in the last two years as regulators look to draft the new regulations. The proposal to compile the new rules was forwarded to the parliamentary budget committee chief on May 23 by Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
“The goal is to finalize these drafts in the coming weeks,” the letter said.
A sizeable segment of the German business community is pushing the government to enact the laws as soon as possible in order to ensure they remain competitive against US rivals. However, brewing firms are against it over fears of water pollution.
Furthermore, Lower Saxony state, which is believed to contain 95 percent of Germany’s natural gas reserves, announced it will accelerate the process to abolish the ban on fracking by revealing that it would table a draft measure at Bundesrat upper house. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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