Germany 'to approve fracking with conditions'

February 26, 2013
Anti-fracking protestors in Berlin earlier this month. The German government is prepared to give the go-ahead to the revolutionary oil and gas technique of "fracking" in Germany, but under certain conditions, according to a ministry paper obtained by AFP.

The German government is prepared to give the go-ahead to the revolutionary oil and gas technique of "fracking" in Germany, but under certain conditions, according to a ministry paper obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

Under a draft proposal by the economy and environment ministries, fracking would be banned in areas where there are and mineral springs.

This is a concession to public opinion where there are serious concerns about safety, as well as the environmental and health effects of the technology.

Rigorous studies into the environmental impact would be undertaken at each proposed site, the paper said.

"Domestic oil and production will continue to make a substantial contribution to the security of supply and price stability in Germany," as the country has pledged to abandon nuclear energy entirely by 2022, the ministries said.

Estimates put Germany's underground at as much as 2.3 trillion cubic metres.

With annual consumption of some 86 billion cubic metres "this can be categorised as a very significant source of energy," they said.

The technology of "" has unlocked immense gas and and changed the geopolitics of energy.

But unlike large areas of the United States, Germany is a very densely populated country, Chancellor warned recently.

The technology, also called "unconventional" production, remains highly controversial, with widespread, serious worries for the environment and the health of people living near the "fracking" locations.

It has been banned in France since 2011 but German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier has promised to introduce legislation on the topic before federal elections on September 22.

Since its invention in 2007, "fracking" has become the gold rush of the 21st century, with tens of billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

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1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 26, 2013
"the revolutionary oil and gas technique of "fracking""??? Oh please. That technology is over 60years old. Canada has had fracking in over 150000 wells (gas and water) and in the US up to 1 million. Are there concerns? Sure, but most are overstated by hollyweird, eviron'mentals', reporters who run with a story without looking checking and politicians without a clue.
I thing the main problem is the name; it sounds scary.
The Alchemist
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 26, 2013
It's pathetic how dependant on that stuff we are that we're willing to take such efforts, when equivalent efforts can generate clean energy.
Very :(
1 / 5 (2) Feb 26, 2013
...according to a ministry paper obtained by AFP

Readers are without an address here.
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 26, 2013
After destroying nukes, Greens now go for another kill. Their favorite national sport, extermination, is now revamped in self-inflicting mode.

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