Children Talk About Hydraulic Fracturing/Fracking-Animation

Facts are against fracking as a real EU energy option

The potential for shale gas to supply a significant part of Europe's gas needs was today (15 May) strongly challenged by Independent MEP Marian Harkin following a key energy conference in the European Parliament.

Yesterday's Brussels conference witnessed international energy expert Werner Zittel's argument that shale gas would only produce between 2-3% of Europe's future energy needs.

Harkin, who attended the conference, expressed her concern at the lack of a clear strategy by the EU Energy Commissioner on the issue of Europe's energy supply.

 

"Just recently, Commission Oettinger said that there was a possibility of shale gas supplying between 10-15% of Europe's energy needs in future, yet yesterday's figures from the International Energy Agency, quoted by Werner Zittel, put that figure at 2-3% - significantly lower than Commission estimates," she noted.

"This startling difference should have alarm bells ringing across European capitals, and should signal a significant impact on any integrated EU energy policy.

 Risks outweigh rewards

"Aside from the very significant climate, environmental, social and health risks involved, it would be a nonsense for the EU Commissioner to start enabling the process of fracking for shale gas if it did not have the potential to make a significant contribution to energy security and help guarantee lower gas prices for EU citizens.

 "While the question whether 'to frack or not to frack' is up to each EU Member State, the Commission is in a key position to provide accurate information and good policy guidance.

"The evidence we heard today from two experts - David Hughes and Werner Zittel - strongly challenged the hype surrounding shale gas as a genuine option for Europe's much-desired energy security.

"It poses serious questions as to why any energy policy mix should include this new and expensive technology if there is not a reasonable return of gas supply.

"The EU and its individual Member States have to make policy choices based on good evidence, and the analysis we heard today indicates that fracking should not be part of any sustainable energy mix for Europe," the Ireland North & West MEP concluded. 

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