No need to ban fracking - EU

2011-10-07 14:50

Brussels - The European Union's top official on climate change said on Friday there was no need yet for the bloc to ban shale gas drilling - a controversial practice on which attitudes are split within the bloc.

"I would not be inclined toward a moratorium based on what I have heard so far," EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told reporters in Brussels.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of drilling into shale rock and injecting water, sand and chemicals into the rock at high pressure to release gas inside.

Environmentalists say the process can contaminate groundwater, among other issues. Following protests, the practice has been banned in France.

Poland, on the other hand, is a major proponent of the technology, arguing that the extra resources it could release could make the EU less dependent on gas imports from Russia and other foreign suppliers.

Hedegaard said the EU "cannot afford to say no" to a technology which is still at a very early stage of development, and stressed the technical challenges still to be overcome before it can be applied on a wide scale.

In Poland, experts predict that shale gas production could start in about 10 years.

Hedegaard was speaking as EU carbon dioxide (CO2) emission figures for 2010 were released, which showed a 2.4% annual increase after a 7% drop the previous year.

This was due to the EU economy rebounding after the 2009 recession and higher heating demand due to a colder winter, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a statement.

Despite the setback, the EU is overall still on track to meet its CO2 reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, but Austria, Italy and Luxembourg were exposed as falling behind their national commitments.

The EEA warned the three laggards that they "should make more efforts to ensure compliance".

  • Illuminated - 2011-10-07 15:10

    shows you want a farce their so called concerns for the environment and "climate change" are.. if it makes them money they dont give a damn..

      Agnostic - 2011-10-07 16:16

      It's always about the money. No one cares. except the real tree huggers.

      Madoqua - 2011-10-07 16:19

      I just love how one persons opinion suddenly becomes scripture. This lady has a degree in literature, worked as a journalist before going into politics much of which was admittedly spent dealing with environmental matters. This does not make her an expert on fracking! Let an independent body review the whole process from a scientific point of view and then form an objective opinion. We do have more than our fair share of armchair critics shouting the odds. Do some research before you post your 'I told you so" comments.

  • Mya - 2011-10-07 15:20

    well if the EU says so... Must be true... wonder how much they stand to lose if it becomes illegal?

  • Thatguyoverthere - 2011-10-07 15:56

    As if CO2 was the issue.

  • Ross - 2011-10-07 16:13

    So they will sacrifice nature and water supplies in order ro become less dependent on Russia?

  • prerisk - 2011-10-07 16:19

    EU you cant even manage your own financial resources never mind the precious Earth resource!

  • ProfAndy - 2011-10-07 17:10

    And I, a genuine tree-hugger, say that we cannot afford to say yes to fracking. The long-term environmental cost is not even known but there are numerous reports of short-term damage and contamination that make it far too risky. And, why won't anyone say what the chemicals are that they inject? Silence, in this case, is very ominous.

  • Cinderowl - 2011-10-07 17:21

    After a reasonable amount of research on our planets natural climate cycles, and looking at many scientist observations (not the ones they necessarily want us to know about)it seems that 'climate change' is another farce. The 'sheeple' suck it up, the powers play it up, and hopefully they will indeed not frack it up!

  • mundu.olewega - 2011-10-07 17:42

    Frack baby, frak....reduce our reliance on Arab oil.

      aman - 2011-10-07 20:59

      If there is oil or gas, shouldn't we leave it till we absolutely need it and use this time to find a better way to access it? Norway as some of the richest reserves but is holding it back until such a time that there is a major shortage. It will be worth 100 times more than it is now.

  • aman - 2011-10-07 18:27

    For those of you interested try and get a copy of the documentary GASLAND. I thought people were overreacting until I saw this.

      Cinderowl - 2011-10-07 20:55

      It's a sobering documentary,

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-10-08 00:36

    Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was in SA. Turkey has INVADED Cyprus. We demand Turkey OUT of Cyprus! Turkey has INVADED Greece. We demand Turkey OUT of Greece! Turkey has GENOCIDED Christian Armenians. We demand that Turkey APOLOGISE and COMPENSATE Armenians! Turkey INVADED Kurdistan. We demand Turkey OUT of Kurdistan! Turkey is an Invader, Occupier, Oppressor, Exploiter and Genocider!

  • Karel - 2011-12-05 05:12

    With all due respect look at water contamination in USA on this presentation. I respect the policy on no links on posts but as an environmental science student this is important.

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