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Shale gas – Unsafe, unsustainable and unwelcome
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Naturefriends call on the European Commission for a robust regulation for shale gas and oil exploration and extraction and demand an EU-wide ban!
Vienna, 22 January 2014
The European Commission has, today, published its long-awaited proposal on shale gas. 

“The Commission’s proposal to regulate shale gas operations is disappointing and alarming” said Manfred Pils, President of Naturefriends International (NFI), representing 500.000 members in 43 countries.
 
“A mere set of non-binding recommendations on minimum principles for shale gas operations instead of a binding legislative proposal will fail to ensure the highest possible environmental standards and will put the health of the EU citizens at risk“, he continued.

The extraction and exploration of shale gas and oil is unwelcome …
EU citizens do not want shale gas! A large majority of almost 23.000 European citizens who participated in a recent public consultation of the European Commission on the opportunities and challenges of unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) in Europe, were opposed to fracking in the EU.  

In many European countries (such as Romania), people are up in arms against this controversial and highly toxic technology. Several countries, such as France, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic as well as some regions of Germany and Spain have already adopted a ban or a moratorium on fracking operations.

 … unsafe and unsustainable
Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a highly controversial form of oil and natural gas extraction. Fracking involves pumping underground at extreme pressure, millions of litres of water, mixed with a toxic cocktail of chemicals, including known carcinogens, which can also cause the contamination of groundwater. While modern fracking for oil and gas is lining the pockets of oil executives, it is not generating broad-based economic growth. In fact, fracking brings rampant environmental and economic problems to rural and urban communities alike.

Moreover, shale gas does not constitute a transition technology on the path to a climate neutral energy production, because gas combustion implies the continued emission of CO₂ into the atmosphere, causing an increase in greenhouse gas, while falling gas prices lower the incentive to invest in the energy turnaround and imply an increase in subsidy funding. Extracting shale gas by means of fracking thus constitutes a social and ecological burden.

Naturefriends demand a Europe-wide ban on the fracking of unconventional deposits of shale gas and oil.

Further information
European Commission Recommendation and Communication http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/energy/unconventional_en.htm
Position paper “Naturefriends argue the case for a ban on shale gas and oil shale extraction”, Naturefriends International

Contact
Anita Pinter, Press and Communication
Naturefriends International
Diefenbachgasse 36, 1150 Vienna
Tel.: +43 1 892 38 77-24
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.nf-int.org 

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