In view of the Crimean crisis and German dependence on Russian gas supplies, German EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger recommended that Germany permitted a demonstration project testing the latest fracking technologies in a suitable location, Rheinische Post (RP) reported. If he was asked, Mr Oettinger was prepared to stand for a second term as Energy Commissioner, RP also informed.
State-of-the-art fracking technologies bore no comparison with the technologies in the beginning stages. “With a German demonstration project the best plant engineers, engineers and geologists could demonstrate how a valuable energy resource can be used with the greatest possible protection of the environment, drinking water and ground water protection”, Mr Oettinger told RP.
Mr Oettinger has been criticizing Germany’s hesitant stance towards fracking for some time (for more information, please see the second link below).
In Germany the then ruling Conservative/Liberal government finally did not to agree on a bill to regulate fracking in June 2013. Hence a proposal agreed on by the Economics Ministry lead by Liberal Economics Minister Philipp Rösler and the Environment Ministry lead by Conservative Peter Altmaier in February 2013 was not submitted to parliament.
The proposal provided for strict conditions for fracking, making an environmental impact assessment and the involvement of the water authorities and agreement with them mandatory and outlawed fracking in drinking water protection areas. Yet the opposition called it still too lenient and members of the ruling CDU coalition partner also asked for still stricter conditions.
Hence for the time being fracking projects have to be approved by the competent mining authorities pursuant to existing mining law (for more information, please see the first link below).