Fracking for Shale Gas Hits a Raw Nerve in Europe
By Matt Clinch
The huge success of drilling for shale gas via “fracking” in the U.S. has led to claims that a new industrial era helped by cheaper fuel prices is dawning. But in Europe, with different planning laws, population density and limited infrastructure, the technology is causing growing controversy and anger.
On Monday, 29 people including a member of Britain’s parliament, were detained in the tiny U.K. village of Balcombe as police broke up a demonstration against plans to drill test wells for shale gas, just 40 miles south of London.
In Germany, brewers are lobbying the government to block fracking, warning that contaminated ground water could hurt the country’s cherished beer industry.
“Nobody knows if fracking is damaging the groundwater supply,” Marc-Oliver Huhnholz, press officer at the German Brewers’ Association told CNBC Tuesday. “You have to compare the U.S. with Germany and you see that they are in many places where nobody is living, and here people are living very close by.”
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