The Netherlands puts temporary ban on fracking ahead of further research, A decision on whether to begin fracking for shale gas in the Netherlands will not be taken for another 18 months until further research has been done, Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has confirmed by Ilaria Bertini, September 20, 2013, Blue and Green Tomorrow
A decision on whether to begin fracking for shale gas in the Netherlands will not be taken for another 18 months until further research has been done, Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has confirmed. The three areas in the country currently considered for test drilling by British firm Cuadrilla will not be fracked until a detailed investigation has taken place over the environmental effects of shale gas extraction. This process could take up to 18 months, Kamp told the Dutch parliament, given that the government and energy experts will be looking for ways to minimise soil, water and air pollution. This period will also been used to involve local communities and council near potential fracking sites. Some councils, such as Haaren and Boxtel in the north-east of Amsterdam, have already said they oppose shale gas extraction and would prefer to see developments in the renewable energy sector. Andries Poppe from Noordoostpolder council said he will only sleep well when the fracking plans are dropped. Meanwhile, Cuadrilla said it is disappointed by the delay but that it is confident the research will reassure locals that fracking is not dangerous. The temporary suspension comes after Dutch bank Rabobank announced in July it would not lend money to businesses involved in shale gas extraction or other unconventional fuels – and also not to farmers leasing their land to energy companies – because of the high environmental risks involved. [Emphasis added]
No shale gas decision for 18 months, pending more research by Dutch News, September 19, 2013
All three areas earmarked for test drilling will be thoroughly researched, and that will take 1.5 years, Kamp said in a briefing. Only then will the cabinet decide what action to take. The extra time will also be used to involve locals and local councils in the plans. The cabinet together with the water boards and others will also look at techniques which are less likely to cause ground and surface water pollution. … A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas in the Netherlands because of the risk of pollution. Haaren and Boxtel in Brabant and the Noordoostpolder north east of Amsterdam had been earmarked as test drilling sites. All three areas are strongly opposed to the arrival of shale gas companies.
Haaren mayor Frans Ronnes said he hoped the cabinet would abandon the plans altogether. More should be done to find alternative sources of energy from the sun and wind, he said. Andries Poppe from Noordoostpolder council said he will only sleep well when the shale gas plans have been abandoned. ‘Kamp is not someone who gives up easily,’ he said. ‘He will now look carefully to see if he can opt for test drilling with better preparation.’ British firm Cuadrilla, which owns the test drilling licences, said it was disappointed in the delay but that further research would remove locals’ fears. Labour MP Jan Vos told Radio 1 news his party would probably vote against shale gas when the issue finally comes to parliament. Without Labour backing there is not a majority in favour of the plans.