Merkel cautiously backs the not-so-green Shale Gas – XOM
Northern, WI 02/21/2013 (gdpwatch) – Going green is a global phenomenon and so when Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany backed Shale Gas fracking in the country it was bound to bring forth a barrage of reactions from various factions. Fracking is Hydraulic extraction of natural gas from layers of Shale rock that lie beneath the surface of the earth. It involves drilling deep holes and the green brigade considers it to be hazardous to the environment and humans.
Negative impacts on the environment
The Merkel government has been seeking viable alternative energy sources as all nuclear power plants will be shut down by 2022 and renewable energy sources will take their place. A quarter of Europe’s gas demand is met by Russia and looking for power alternatives within the country has become a priority for Germany just as it has for other countries in the continent. Fracking however, can have large scale environmental impacts and though Merkel has been backing it she has been doing so very cautiously, this primarily due to the widespread opposition from Social Democrats, Green Party allies (who have been attempting to quell the plan totally), citizens and environmental groups.
Benefit against safety?
Merkel has been playing it safe and has categorically stated that the safety of the German people is tantamount and that no decision will be taken and no policy passed in haste and that every opinion will be considered before Shale gas fracking is locked-down upon. Issues such as these have and always will be a catch 22 situation. Gas is four times dearer than what it is in the US as the latter supports Shale Gas. Germany is literally sitting on a shale gas treasure-house of 2.3 billion cubic meters and its exploitation will lead to a 100-fold increase in natural gas output, said a prominent Geosciences head. Fracking test wells have been drilled by several companies such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in lower Saxony state and the SPD opposition and its Green allies made a strategic move against Merkel in the wake of Fracking opposition, resulting in her Christian Democratic Union being ousted in Lower Saxony.
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) were down by 0.39% to close at $88.97