FOR A BAN OF FRACKING IN EUROPE_2_EN
For the Energy
B – 1049 – BRUSSELS
Mrs Connie Hedegaard
For the Climate
Rue Archimède, 73
1000 – BRUSSELS
Cc : Mr Jo Leinen
During the presentation of the findings of the inquiry “IMPACTS OF SHALE GAS, SHALE OIL AND COAL BED METHANE EXTRACTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH” (IP/A/ENVI/ST/2011-07) by Stefan Lechtenböhmer, overseen by Lorenzo Vicario) giving clear indication of the very real concern of European citizens concerning climate change, you declared that current levels did not justify official EU opposition to the new shale gas technology.
At the closure of debate, the Commission refused entirely to reject the exploitation of shale gas/oil in Europe stating that it remained 'torn between “energy security” and “environment”. We now understand that you, Commissioner Oettinger, are personally responsible for overseeing the adoption of common measures for EU and to submit a proposal by 2012”.
Furthermore, according to a recent article in “The Wall Street Journal”, you have declared, Mr Oettinger, that the European commission is now opposed to any new legislative framework for shale gas and oil in the European Union deeming existing regulation to be adequate. We wonder how you can be so sure in the light of the limited activity that has taken place to date.
MEP Jo Leinen had previously suggested in the UK newspaper “The Guardian” that he wished for an entirely new Directive which would cover the extraction of fuels having negative effects on the environment - such as shale gas and oil, coal bed methane and bituminous sand – be strictly regulated within the E.U. Jo LEINEN had affirmed that this legislation would without doubt be sustained since many euro-deputies are more and more anxious about the role of shale gas in the world energetic mix.
The Council has - moreover - asked for a schedule concerning water tables and a revision of the directive 80/68/CEE of the Council on December 17th, 1979 concerning the protection of water tables/aquifers against the pollution caused by dangerous substances, within the framework of a policy of the protection of fresh water.
In nature, one million years are necessary with temperatures between 100 and 150°C to generate hydrocarbons in the rock. However, these natural resources - and especially fossils - are not an infinite source. To destroy such geological riches for short term gain is nothing short of criminal.
Furthermore, there is now a consensus on the reality of climatic disorder and the major challenge of the 21st century is the programmed exhaustion of our natural resources.
Thinking populations across the globe now agree that the exploitation for greed of finite resources is the height of irresponsibility. Indeed, “an energy transition isn’t only possible, but it is economically viable. It’s not only possible, but “It’s the ONLY OPTION” because we are confronted with the most frightening urgency of our century.
It’s important to re-iterate here the risks incurred by “fracking” : the use of up to 700 chemicals for instance, for the most part generators of cancers. Adam Law, a endocrinologist of the medical school Weill Cornell of New York estimates that it is necessary to impose a moratorium on fracking, as long as the question of the effects on health remain unclear. So, we ask for a ban of exploration and exploitation of shale gas/oil according the proven pollution of the water table, and the risks of earthquakes, not to mention the disruption to flora and fauna and rural and semi-rural communities by massive logistics remain a constant.
You may consider all of this to be just too idealistic, but all is possible; each action is realistic and realisable. The need now is for political vision and responsibility. Caving in to the massive oil and gas lobby is nothing short of an irresponsible abdication of your duty to those who elected you in good faith.
Time is short and the need to move to a scenario based primarily on renewable sources is paramount. Examples exist already within the EU. You will know that Germany has cancelled its nuclear programme in the light of the Fukushima catastrophe and now procures as much as 30% of it's total requirement from solar technology.
The desire for change is widespread and one that you would be wise not to underestimate. We all wish for a Europe that takes into account the wishes of the wider community/population and not one which panders to the requirements of industry, specifically an industry with a proven track record of environmental irresponsibility and greed.
We desire change, and not only in the decisions of energy-mix: we wish for a Europe which considers human needs, and honours it's responsibility to those who elected it's members and not those who lobby for profit.
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