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?