German Environment Minister: ‘We Want to Limit Fracking’

Conservative politician Peter Altmaier says rules for the new drilling technique will likely be tightened in Germany.

EnergieAgentur.NRW/Flickr

Germany‘s environment minister said on Monday he did not want to make it easy for companies to “frack” for shale gas and could not see the practice happening in his country in the “forseeable future”.

Pending rules for the drilling techniques would likely be tightened, said Peter Altmaier, a conservative politician in chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

“The message is we want to limit fracking, we don’t want to facilitate it,” he told Deutschlandfunk radio. “And anyway I don’t see in the foreseeable future that fracking will be employed anywhere within Germany.”

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping vast quantities of water and chemicals at high pressure through drill holes, which together with vertical drilling helps prop open shale rocks to release trapped gas.

Altmaier said he would recommend that interested parties refrain from applying for exploration licences. So far, only a few small initiatives are under way in the absence of clear-cut rules.

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