BRUSSELS, Belgium – The myth of tapping a huge supply of cheap natural gas is a sucker play propped up by many millions of dollars in public relations spending but exposed by a $4.6 million legal settlement in Pennsylvania and other events.
That’s how activists in Europe this week characterized the controversial natural gas extraction technique.
They cited water poisonings which have already occurred in the US Marcellus Shale formation region and elsewhere in an effort to persuade European officials to ban hydrofracking.
Fracking forces millions of gallons of water and chemicals under pressure to break up rock and release natural gas, while at the same time creating the risk of contaminating ground water.
Food & Water Europe and other groups called on the oil and gas industry to “stop the propaganda” and on members of the European Parliament to recognize that the potential of shale gas has been hyped, while the risks and impacts have been downplayed.
“The dubious benefits and poor environmental record of shale gas development in the U.S. serve as a cautionary tale for Europe,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director, Food and Water Watch. “It is worrying that European policymakers have bought into the myth, propagated by the gas industry, that shale gas can serve as a viable bridge to a low carbon future.”
Globalfrackdown.org noted that, to date, more than 270 municipalities in the United States have taken action against fracking, and the State of Vermont, France and Bulgaria have banned the use of hydraulic fracturing. There is a moratorium on fracking in the Czech Republic, Romania, the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, New Jersey and New York, although Gov. Cuomo is considering lifting the ban in a portion of the state. Click here for information on action against hydrofracking in New York.
This week, it was also announced that the oil and gas company OMV would also halt drilling in Austria, due to the protests of local communities.