From Bloomberg News:
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government won votes that will permit fracking to continue in Germany, saying the technique may help the country’s energy supply security.
Merkel’s coalition government defeated motions from the Green Party and Left Party that called for banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, after the opposition argued the technique is harmful to the environment.
The vote was 309 against the Green Party’s motion, 259 in favor and two abstentions. There was no count for the second motion.
There’s no reason to prohibit a technique that’s been used in Germany for many years without incidents, said Andreas Laemmel, a lawmaker with the Christian Democratic Union.
Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) have drilled test wells into unconventional natural gas reservoirs in Germany in an attempt to emulate the U.S. shale-gas boom. While a successful drilling campaign would redraw the energy map across Europe -- a continent reliant on Russia for about a quarter of its gas -- little headway has been made in Germany, largely due to public opposition on environmental grounds.
Fracking has been practiced in Germany since the 1960s, and has been used at least 275 times at conventional gas and oil wells in Lower Saxony state, according to a study presented by the Environment Ministry in September. It was outlawed in France last year and the practice is also banned in Bulgaria.
The government has commissioned studies on fracking to further evaluate the method and will adopt regulation if necessary, Laemmel said.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.