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Green MEPs and anti-fracking activitists pose with fracking flavoured water outside the European Parliament. Photo by greensefa via flickr.

Germany plans to put a risky hiatus on fracturing

Zachary Toliver | Shale Plays Media

At a time when a large portion of the world is attempting to cash in on the energy revolution made available through hydraulic fracturing, Germany may soon take a completely opposite route. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Germany plans to enact a seven-year ban on shale gas drilling due to fear of groundwater pollution and potential seismic consequences.

Friday morning, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks stated that these would be the strictest rules that have ever existed in the area of fracking. However, the German based media outlet, Deutsche Welle, points out that at closer examination, the proposed ban reveals a few loopholes, the most prominent being the ban only applies to drilling depths shallower then 3000 meters. According to claims from Hubertus Zdebel of the Left party in Germany, the planned restrictions would still allow for extracting half of Germany’s known gas reserves.

Although Germany is a world leader of renewable energy as stated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country still relies heavily on natural gas. In 2010, nearly one fourth of all German energy came from natural gas, and the majority of that gas came from Russia. Aside from a history of shifting relations, Germany is caught up in the political strife between Western nations and Russia as the aggression in Ukraine continues. Russia has already made threats to cut their services to many European countries, and with a fracking ban restricting production, that could be an unfortunate reality for the nation of Germany.

Related: Germany to set new rules for fracking

As a nation, Germany could lose out on an economic enhancement by restricting fracking. Along with hundreds of jobs, Germany also loses the obvious revenue of gas in a part of the world heavily dependent on Russian gas in the midst of political agitation.

Read more about the ban and its impact on the economy in the Wall Street Journal article by Jan Hromadko, “Germany Shelves Shale-Gas Drilling For Next Seven Years.” Also, read more about what the leaders of Germany are saying about the ban in the Deutsche Welle article, “Germany debates proposed ban on fracking.”

14 comments

  1. So they can be more dependent on communist Russia. Great plan, they must be getting advise from our bonehead politicians

  2. Yeah way to cut ur own throats Germany. Its far from the U.S. so they can do what they want as far as im concerned.

  3. Lol who came up with 7 years?

  4. Hope we don’t have to ‘bail’ them out in the future! But Putin will gladly take your money…

  5. Smart because they buy it all from other countries. Let others poison themselves for the dollar. Please tell me where all our oil as the new #1 oil producer goes? I know I just paid $4.09 a gallon… who’s the idiots again?

  6. lol, I think Putin has been selling them on the dangers of Fracking.

  7. Yah, ve just buy da gas from da Russians

  8. Troy Rager maybe you should study how global commodities are sold/traded.

  9. Read the article people. Germany can still tap over half of their known reserves. Ban is only on wells shallower than 3000m

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