German economy minister rejects calls for using fracking to secure gas supplies
Germany’s economy and climate minister Robert Habeck has rejected a suggestion by the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) to allow the controversial fracking method to exploit unused natural gas deposits in the country in order to secure supply. “The discussion about fracking doesn’t help us at all at the moment. Even if we decided to do it, it would take years to exploit these deposits,” the Green party politician said, according to a report by newswire dpa. Habeck said deposits potentially suitable for fracking have not even been tested.” Habeck warned a debate about fracking would split the population. He said the task at hand involved reducing the amount of energy used “at all levels”, and accelerating the rollout of renewables.
Several members of the FDP, who are part of a government coalition with the Greens and Social Democrats (SPD), had called for exploring the possibility of using fracking to ease the current gas supply shortage. Fracking involves pumping chemicals under high pressure into deep layers of rock to extract the gas and can lead to environmental damages such as water pollution or even earthquakes. The technology is effectively banned in Germany.