Germany has apparently halted plans to use fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial method used to extract natural gas in difficult places to reach. According to Spiegel, Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen and Economy Minster Philipp Rosler have been skeptical of the process and have decided to oppose it for the time being.
The two ministers are opposing plans by energy companies to use fracking, which injects chemicals as well as sand and water into the ground to release natural gas.
German activists have opposed the process for quite some time, even organizing protests against it. They suspect the chemicals could pollute drinking water and local groundwater.
Fracking is commonly used in the United States, and has become more widespread in recent years. The Obama administration has recently put regulations into place that will provide more information on the chemicals used in the process, but on the whole supports the fast growing industry.
There’s no shortage of issues and controversy linked to fracking, and as more information is available and drillers are required to release more information, it’s not unlikely that opposition to the method could grow unless safer alternatives are presented.
Image CC licensed by Roth Rheinmain: Fracking? Nein Danke!