German official: Yeah, don’t expect fracking in Germany any time soon

posted at 6:41 pm on February 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Germany, which often prides itself on being a world leader in promoting (i.e., subsidizing) renewable energies and ‘sustainability,’ has been debating over whether or not they should open up their underground shale oil-and-gas reserves for hydraulic fracturing — with the necessarily accompanying ‘enlightened’-greenie protestations, of course. It’s not that Germany doesn’t use gas — they do, and they only produce 14 percent of the gas they use — but they’re averse to the idea of allowing the industry to more fully pursue their own domestic supplies if it should mean there’s any chance of the much-vaunted horrors of groundwater contamination. The German government is considering rules that would strictly regulate but ultimately allow the drilling practice that has led to boomtowns popping up across the United States, but the country’s environmental minister warned today that nobody should get too excited:

Germany’s environment minister says he doesn’t expect the extraction of natural gas by “fracking” will start any time soon in Europe’s biggest economy. …

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio Monday that Germany’s government is working to ensure the practice is subject to limits and he wouldn’t advise anyone to seek drilling licenses soon.

Altmaier said he “can’t see fracking being used anywhere in Germany in the foreseeable future.”

Why, why, why are so many people in these supposedly enlightened and eco-friendly nations so singlemindedly determined to shun the single best, mass-producible hope for substantively reducing carbon emissions in the near future? Keep pouring your money into the stubbornly-uncompetitive renewable ventures of your political fancy if you must, but why keep cutting your nose off to spite your face when you’re looking straight at a profitable and environmentally beneficial solution?

Further still, there are geopolitical implications to this decision — Germany could help Europe to lessen their dependence on Russia for fuel and erode their influence in the region, all the while boosting their own revenue streams. What’s not to like, exactly?


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Don’t worry, you can rely on Russia for gas.

What could possibly go wrong?

forest on February 11, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Why, why, why are so many people in these supposedly enlightened and eco-friendly nations so singlemindedly determined to shun the single best, mass-producible hope for substantively reducing carbon emissions in the near future?

Centuries of precedent in singlemindedly doing the stupid thing over the thing that makes sense. European cultural fault lines are built on this stupidity. Western (Catholic) church v. Eastern Orthodox. Catholic nations v. Protestant ones. And nobody likes the Serbs.

Happy Nomad on February 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Good, you can by the gas we sell you. Or maybe you hedge your bets on a nice safe/consistent supply from mother Russia. HA!

reddevil on February 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Who are we to cast stones? Our energy policies are just as crazy.

Blake on February 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I think Germany should just rely on Russia for a supply of cheap, plentiful, and environmentally friendly energy.

tom daschle concerned on February 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Why, why, why are so many people in these supposedly enlightened and eco-friendly nations so singlemindedly determined to shun the single best, mass-producible hope for substantively reducing carbon emissions in the near future?

Easy question to answer. Environmentalism at some point stopped being about logic, like preventing people from dumping battery acid into rivers, and became a religion. It is about faith not logic. You either believe in mother goddess earth or you do not. Of course politicians now have jumped in making things much worse. The worst excesses of the Christianity, like witch hunts, normally were more orchestrated by the local political leaders than anyone else. Whenever politicians get involved in religion (witches) and science (eugenics) it normally ends badly for all involved.

William Eaton on February 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Maybe Germany will get it’s renewable energy from sauerkraut & beer farts…

Bruno Strozek on February 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Because, logic.

:)

Axe on February 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Frack it.

MT on February 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Who are we to cast stones? Our energy policies are just as crazy.

Blake on February 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

That “we” has a grand canyon through it, though. I’ll just double up on stones. I’m not going to “we” myself up with “they” — I’m kicking and screaming.

Axe on February 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Germany will wait for France to develop their own fracking infrastructure, then invade and take it for themselves.

Bishop on February 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Energy industry develops nontoxic fracking fluids

Houston-based energy giant Halliburton Inc. has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well.

So now the voodoo environmentalists will need to come up with some other excuse.

petefrt on February 11, 2013 at 7:26 PM

This could be really good for the UK . . .

Axe on February 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Fine..i hope the ‘renewable’ energy you have bankrupts you then

sadsushi on February 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

petefrt on February 11, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Wasn’t Gasland about the pollution of water by the natural gas and not the fracking fluid?

Charlemagne on February 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Charlemagne on February 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Yes, pollution by the gas itself was one of Gasland‘s allegations. But pollution by the fracking fluid is at least as frequent a charge.

petefrt on February 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Charlemagne on February 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Besides, what good is water if you can’t burn it?

petefrt on February 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I live in a city which has passed an anti-fracking law. Unfortunately for my city, no active wells are within city limits — but there are plenty of them just outside.

I fully expect Culver City to sue PXP and the City of Los Angeles. There will be much hilarity and wasting of tax dollars all around.

unclesmrgol on February 11, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I guess that explains their shrinking birthrate.

RoadRunner on February 11, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Oh, FRACKING. Never mind…

RoadRunner on February 11, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Roadrunner – LOL! Thank you…

MelonCollie on February 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Why, why, why are so many people in these supposedly enlightened and eco-friendly nations so singlemindedly determined to shun the single best, mass-producible hope for substantively reducing carbon emissions in the near future?

Because governments don’t own the rights, private industry does. And there’s still some opposition to big government by those individuals who make -and can donate a lot of money from the private sector.

BKeyser on February 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

BKeyser on February 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

I should probably say “technology” rather than rights…

BKeyser on February 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM

What’s not to like, exactly?

.
Ummm, the distortion by the rest of “enlightened Europe” about the problems of fracking and the possible attempt to make Deutschland the target of vicious criticism because of their superior economy?
.
I’m just guessing but I think the rest of Europe has a habit of blaming Germany for everything since 1945.

ExpressoBold on February 11, 2013 at 9:14 PM

I’m just guessing but I think the rest of Europe has a habit of blaming Germany for everything since 1945.

ExpressoBold on February 11, 2013 at 9:14 PM

If that’s so, perhaps they should consider removing their lips from the copious and ample German teat.

Axe on February 11, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Not surprised in the least that fracking will not happen in Deutschland. I know that they intend to have all their nuclear power plants shut down sooner rather than later (I think by 2025).

Germans are big time “Save the Planet” types. My wife is German and she didn’t just drink the Kool Aid, she takes the stuff intravenously. It’s maddening to argue with her. She swallowed the global warming hype hook, line, and sinker.

Once the Germans decide on a course of action, they will follow that path come hell or high water. For some reason, the term “pigheaded” comes to my mind. Believe it or not, more than one German has told me they consider us, the “Amis,” to be guilty of that very flaw. Pretty funny.

Anyway, examples such as the Reformation, the World Wars, insurance coverage for everything, and overly organized beer festivals are germane.

Don’t try to cross a street in Germany against the light. You will be dressed down. “Mein Herr, fuer die Kinder!”

One time, I stopped at a stop light and by mistake crossed slightly over the stop line. A young woman crossing the street stopped in front of my car, pointed at my offending bumper and glared at me. I laughed all the way to work.

Wir muessen immer logisch und organisiert sein!

NavyMustang on February 12, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Wir muessen immer logisch und organisiert sein!

NavyMustang on February 12, 2013 at 7:32 AM

I was married to one.

She was a wonderful girl who spoke glowingly of me decades after I got free. Er, I mean…the divorce.

Then she married..drumroll….someone of FRENCH descent. I don’t make this stuff up! Ohhhh…that worked out REAL well!

You sure get it. The enviro thing is a natural (excuse the pun) and neatly (pun) plays to a love of authoritarianism, anal compulsions and a general epidemic of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in the population.

But God bless their little (tiny) hearts.

If they want to keep sending a fortune east for gas and oil, so be it.

I actually met another one….I am trying to keep it from being a disaster for us both.

IlikedAUH2O on February 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

IlikedAUH2O on February 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

That is HILARIOUS that your “ehemalige Frau” married a Frenchman! Classic! Don’t get me started on my French stories!

NavyMustang on February 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM

If you watch the documentary FrackNation, they say that Russia is in the lead for propagandizing against fracking in Europe–for obvious reasons. You might think that Germans, the ultimate in science nations, would be more observant of this type of ruse.

theFantom on February 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM