European Parliament defeats alarmist scare-mongering that shale gas will “destroy the future of mankind”

Rational thinking still can prevail over alarmist hyperbole.

It is heartening to see that the European Parliament – which is not my favourite institution – has rejected a moratorium on the exploitation of shale gas and has approved the right of each member state to decide for itself on shale gas exploitation. It has been “green” fanaticism and the environmentalists propensity for myopic adhesion to ideology which has caused Europe to forget the simple reality that “the lower the cost of energy the greater the growth”.

On 20th November the EU Parliament debated reports

 … by the Industry and Environment Committees, that say that national governments should have the choice on whether to exploit shale gas but that national and EU legislation needs to be sufficiently strict. …..  Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said this had contributed to far lower energy costs in the US than in the EU. He added this led to a reduction in the need for gas imports from countries like Nigeria, reducing transportation costs and environmental emissions.

Of course the “greens” have set their face against shale gas. They have probably done more to increase electricity costs in Europe and have contributed to the loss of  more jobs in Europe  than any other group. Apocalyptic scenarios to spread fear and terror are their stock in trade and this debate was no different:

Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter said shale gas extraction would “destroy the future of mankind. This gas has no future,” he concluded.

Fortunately the Polish contingent were not be frightened off by the scare-mongering and BBC continues:

The reports were formally adopted during the daily voting session on 21 November 2012.

Polish radio carries more details:

Poland’s Minister of State Treasury Mikołaj Budzanowski said that the development of shale gas exploitation is a “chance for the whole of Europe”.

A resolution of the Energy Committee, which says that each member state has the right to decide on whether to exploit shale gas, has been adopted with 492 votes in favour, 129 against and 13 abstentions.

An Environment Committee report drafted by Poland’s MEP Boguslaw Sonik – adopted with 562 votes in favour, 86 against and 43 abstention – says that a ‘thorough analysis’ of EU regulations on the exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels is needed.

An amendment proposing a moratorium on shale gas exploitation has been rejected.

Mr Budzanowski has assured that the exploitation of shale gas in Poland will proceed with full respect for environmental protection standards and the rights of the local population.

According to MEP Bogusław Sonik, the experience of the United States and Canada has shown that present-day shale gas extraction technologies are environmentally safe.

According to the Polish Geological Institute, the country’s recoverable shale-gas reserves amount to 768 billion cubic meters. Treasury Minister Budzanowski said three months ago that Poland will produce “several” billion cubic meters of gas from shale rock by 2020.

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2 Responses to “European Parliament defeats alarmist scare-mongering that shale gas will “destroy the future of mankind””

  1. Edward Woodhouse Says:

    Opposition to fracking obviously can be overdone, so I’ve no quarrel with you pointing to the EU Parliament’s moderate stance.

    But don’t your own comments mirror the very excesses you deplore? The slogan about low-cost energy spurring economic growth suggests that you may have an adhesion to ideology yourself?

    A return to “growth” or swelling surely would ease some problems, but would exacerbate others. I’d welcome having you acknowledge this, emulating the Parliament’s balanced approach.

    • ktwop Says:

      I would not myself consider the the very evident link between periods of high growth and the availability of energy (especially electricity) at “relatively” low prices as an ideology.
      The “moderate” stance of the EU Parliament is only – I believe – as a consequence of the moderating influence of the current financial crisis. In “better” times they have shown themselves to be highly irresponsible (because I suppose they are truly accountable to no one).

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