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New German coalition government would keep fracking ban

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats agree to retain a moratorium on fracking for shale gas while cutting some incentives for wind power if they form a new coalition government.
  • The deal would be a disappointment to Exxon Mobil (XOM), Germany’s largest natural gas producer with XOM-operated fields responsible for ~70% of the country’s output, and with nine exploration licenses covering 2.8M acres that hold shale gas, tight natural gas liquids, and coalbed methane.
  • Among those who have fretted over fracking are Germany's brewers, who worry that the technique would pollute waters and taint the country’s beer.
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Comments (28)
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (10542) | Send Message
     
    "Among those who have fretted over fracking are Germany's brewers, who worry that the technique would pollute waters and taint the country’s beer."

     

    Best reason ever read : )
    8 Nov 2013, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • RDSwindells
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    Invite a coterie of leading brewers to visit the Pennsylvania fracking areas, and have them drink the water. Then tell them how much money they can save on their brewing energy through a productive gas industry instead of paying Gazprom for it and they will swing right over to support.
    9 Nov 2013, 05:42 AM Reply Like
  • Fracjob
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    Why is it doubtful that the brewers are at the heart of the opposition? More likely a bunch of misfits that think they are involved in a noble pursuit.
    9 Nov 2013, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • Veritas1010
    , contributor
    Comments (1683) | Send Message
     
    Wow! Normally I'd be oppose to government interference, but...Please don't touch that German spring water - I love Aventis Wiseback from Munich and surly want no potential issues.

     

    Have to keep one's priorities straight in life!
    8 Nov 2013, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Safe clean water is a priority for thousands of rural farm families on US shale plays. Do they need to start brewing beer for policymakers to want to protect them from the impacts of fracking for shale gas in their backyards?
    8 Nov 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • RDSwindells
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    No they don't have to start brewing beer. You have to remember that German water, hence their beer, would not be so pure if they had not lost WWII to us, so that the USA rebuilt their national water system after the war and cleaned up all the pollution and contamination that existed prior.
    9 Nov 2013, 05:45 AM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    Foolish move. When the Russians jam natural gas prices on the Germans, reality will force them to finally make a wiser decision.
    8 Nov 2013, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • machiavelli
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    Isn't Europe already paying 5x what the US price is? The reality is they are very concerned about the water table, which you seem to be OK with to poison to make a few extra bucks on your XOM stock. Maybe when the technology is proven to work flawlessly with no casing leaks (environmental hazards) and a long term maintenance plan for abandoned wells, then maybe Germany will pursue it. It's not like the gas is going anywhere.
    9 Nov 2013, 12:15 AM Reply Like
  • TAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2496) | Send Message
     
    Worst mistake since the 1932 elections.
    9 Nov 2013, 12:16 AM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2242) | Send Message
     
    42 states out of then 48 disagreed with your "worst mistake". How was it back in 1932? From what I read, most people were fed up with mob controlled politicians & massive corruption.
    9 Nov 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • TAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2496) | Send Message
     
    I just don't think you are wise enough to comprehend my point.
    10 Nov 2013, 10:33 PM Reply Like
  • CATO THE YOUNGER
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    When the Turks and Arabs repopulate Germany, their familiarity comfort with oil and gas production will eventually lead that country to adopt a wiser policy. Its simply a fact that there has been no instance of hydraulic fracking contaminating ground water, however that might disappoint the enviro-fascists and control freaks.
    9 Nov 2013, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • machiavelli
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    You don't have to be a freak or a fascist to be concerned about water contamination. However, when I envision the fracking process, it seems like it could be done safely with my limited knowledge of the engineering behind it. When they use a steel liner and concrete that just seems like a very solid well. And when the well is shut they could just plug it with cement for a few thousand feet which seems safe but that is a guess I don't really know what they do with abandoned wells. The main problem I think is the incredible amount of fresh water they use and then dump and then the chemicals used. Can they be reused (I'm guessing they are to some extent) but there certainly have been truckloads of the stuff dumped into rivers or just sitting in huge storage tanks. If they could use those salt caverns miles underground like they use to store natgas where they could store that fracking fluid/water and reuse it that seems reasonable. My bet, knowing the arsewipes out there, the stuff has been dumped right into the river on numerous occasions. Make half decent regulations on the casing specs, sealing wells, water use, waste storage/reuse etc... and then send out the information to be independently tested and verified and voila... fracking is allowed. It may be expensive to do all that testing but most non-sociopaths would agree it is well worth it. The amount of gas is a huge and it is not going anywhere.
    9 Nov 2013, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    New York Times - Fracking well contaminated in 1984:

     

    http://nyti.ms/HECa7T

     

    Bloomberg Businessweek - EPA cites fracking as contamination of Wyoming water well:

     

    http://buswk.co/HECa7V

     

    Scientific American - Pennsylvania well suspected by researchers of being contaminated by fracking:

     

    http://bit.ly/HECbIV

     

    On top of that, fracking has alot of regulatory capture that protects it where investigations were sealed and results were not made available to the public. There are probably more examples but the details are hidden due to lawsuits.
    9 Nov 2013, 03:34 AM Reply Like
  • Anne Bonney
    , contributor
    Comments (105) | Send Message
     
    Would respectfully point out that the salt caverns are reserved for all the nuclear waste for the decommissioned and slated to be decommissioned nuclear power plants. That would be all of the nuclear plants--36 plants. 100%. The waste has to go underground.
    9 Nov 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • CATO THE YOUNGER
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    A rather anemic list of outrages, I'd say, caused or "suspected" of being caused by a technique in use since the 1960's. Don't let that change your position controllers. Perhaps some of the extravagant allegations of the environmental bar or "investigators" will eventually prove true after all.

     

    Aren't we lucky that the controllers weren't in a position to demand absolute, 100% assurance of safety and no negative outcomes from such things as electricity, rail and air travel and almost any technological advancement that we take for granted today.
    10 Nov 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    The only "suspected," case is the last one, which is just waiting confirmation, and the other two are 100% confirmed.

     

    The point the New York Times article talks about is why the "there has never been a single case of contamination" line of thinking is dangerous, and completely untrue. It bolsters hubris and attempts to completely sideline the issue of safety by turning a complex issue into a one-line talking point that is taken for granted.

     

    On top of that there are more cases but those have been covered up due to clauses in lawsuits that do not allow the information to go public.

     

    These 3 publications are some of the most highly regarded on the planet and would not publish articles like that without running very high due diligence.

     

    I'm all for moving forward but trivializing or covering up or safety concerns is not in anyone's interest.

     

    Flipping the script and thinking about it from the company's selfish point of view, practically the companies doing it are just opening themselves up for taking hits in profitability down the road, due to lawsuits, or lost contracts because people don't want the pollution.

     

    If I was a shareholder in a company covering up safety issues I would bail in a heartbeat.

     

    It's no big deal as long as someone else is drinking the methane right?
    10 Nov 2013, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • al roman
    , contributor
    Comments (10051) | Send Message
     
    Smart move I believe we can deliver more cost effective than even the Ostmensch.
    9 Nov 2013, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • Anne Bonney
    , contributor
    Comments (105) | Send Message
     
    Maybe the least of their worries. Anybody remember Chernobyl? The strontium and cesium, among other nasty little nuclear products, are still around. Germany received considerable contamination. There is a huge anti-nuclear movement and every single nuclear plant has been slated to be decommissioned as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Renewable energy sources are extremely expensive and tenuous at best, providing a miniscule amount of energy/power (and that would be forward-looking decades). As result of all of that, natural gas was thought to be their answer. Now, there is a growing movement against that because of the hysteria, not facts, surrounding fracking. If the Germans do not want to develop their own energy resources, so be it. Buy the gas from Gazprom. It's all good until the lines are shut down. Might ask the Ukrainians how that worked out for them.

     

    Takeaway-----not really a problem in Germany. When the lights go out, you will still be able to find your beer, glowing in the dark....
    9 Nov 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (10542) | Send Message
     
    The French ministry of health confidently declared back then, that there cannot be any cross-border contamination. Hence, the fallout likely stopped already on the Romanian, Hungarian, Czech and Polish borders, before even coming within an inch of Germany.

     

    Chernobyl, according to the ministry of health, was all but scare-mongering. In fact, nothing happened at all, as never does in case of urban myths.
    9 Nov 2013, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Derek A. Barrett for standing up those clear examples of fact, not hysteria, about how the fracking industry contaminates valuable water resources and turns local communities into resource colony victims for the benefit of its executives and shareholders.

     

    Here's one more sad example of contamination. If you think this industry can be done safely with regulations, just look at how well regulators at Canada's ERCB are protecting their citizens and water resources.

     

    http://bit.ly/18gNhKY
    9 Nov 2013, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • Fracjob
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    It really doesn't matter so far as most U.S. citizens are concerned if all of Europe takes advantage of cheap energy. The grand Euro experiment with subsidized green energy is an epic failure. When the government money ran out, and nuclear reactors were shut down, countries needed energy. For the most part, they all increasingly burned coal, and paid the high price for LNG or Russian gas. Nothing against coal from this realist, but the unintended consequences from the reckless actions of the feel good, knee jerk radicals leads to exactly what they oppose. They hoped for change, and got it.
    10 Nov 2013, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Spoken like someone who stands to benefit from the misfortunes fracking and related energy policy foists on others, including US concerned US citizens who do not wish to subsidize this destructive process.

     

    If readers want to be well-informed about what a hydraulically-fractured future "promises" (and this has nothing to do with allegations of environmental contamination) I recommend reading Bill Powers' "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark."
    10 Nov 2013, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • Fracjob
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    Intimately familar with the silly writing of Powers. Do you not see what is happening with energy production taking place in front of your very eyes?
    10 Nov 2013, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Given the data available, I see fracking ready to ruin my livelihood, my water supply, and our local economy. Owning property surrounded by leased land, knowing that 1 of 14 well casings fail within the first year of drilling (this data derived from casing failure rates documented by the industry-friendly Pennsylvania DEP: approx. 7% of fracked wells in PA experience methane migration in year one) is like being tied to a train track.

     

    I'd tell you to do it in your backyard, but we ALL depend on the water that the law allows individual lessors to control (and damage) through mineral rights leases to frackers. Best advice, go frack some other planet until you figure out a way to do it safely.

     

    And people, look for a safer, less harmful, investment.
    11 Nov 2013, 12:13 AM Reply Like
  • LongLegend
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    Fracking please forgett. Big problems - few people earns a lot of money. Thats all. Use the sun - the cheapest way to get energy. Already Germany worked for energy independence - with sucess. Fracking is a theme of a small world of people which will earn a lot of money. The public have to pay.
    10 Nov 2013, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • Fracjob
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    "Cheap Natural Gas Hits NYC In Game Changer For Region." SE pipeline reduces costs to consumers and displaces foreign oil. Wonderful story, and more on the way for our country, and consumers.
    10 Nov 2013, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • wotcher
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Really? Why are former gas industry professionals saying just the opposite about shale fracking's potential in NY?

     

    http://bit.ly/1bmsie6

     

    And if fracked gas is displacing "foreign oil," why is Dominion filing for a license to export LNG from its Cove Point facility in Maryland?

     

    We know this is PR rhetoric: your industry can't break even at US prices; it intends to sell US fracked gas to higher bidders in Asia and Europe.
    11 Nov 2013, 12:58 AM Reply Like
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