April Fools: On Wednesday, April 1st, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a measure to bring fracking into Germany. The patents, mainly owned by US companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger is a prelude to President Obama’s SECRET Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) pact with Europe. We can only guess, but it looks like a corporate take-over where mega-corporations will override nations. It is also a step against Russia’s energy-market.
Quoting from German Economic News, Eric Zuesse reports in Global Research (April 03, 2015):
“The controversial shale gas extraction (fracking) process is coming to Germany: In order not to provoke excessively large protests at home, the federal government highlighted that fracking is initially allowed only for testing purposes. But in fact, the draft law of the Federal Environment and the Federal Ministry of Economics, approved today by the the Cabinet, also allows subsequent large-scale extraction of shale gas….
The American interest in a continuing conflict simmering in Ukraine also causes Europeans to fear that Russian gas could stop and thus drive Europe to give up our still considerable resistance against fracking. Some US politicians have personal interests, such as the US Vice President Biden, whose son works for a Ukrainian fracking company.”
In an article in the Business Review entitled “How Australia missed the fracking boat“, Robert Gottliebsen writes:
“TOO many Australians simply do not get it. It was not quantitative easing that put the US on a growth path and it was not a carbon tax that enabled America to be a world leader in carbon reduction.
What achieved both these outcomes was a new technology to produce low-cost oil and gas — fracking.” And
“The gas developers (in Australia) offered only token compensation and, in their haste to develop gas, sometimes used unsafe practices. That complete “stuff up” gave enormous impetus to the anti-fracking movement in Australia.”
Gottliebsen looks at the US as a shining example to follow, but fails to comment on any disasters there. I wonder if he has considered that maybe he “simply does not get it”.
Fortunately in other parts of Australia, politicians are listening, learning and are more cautious. Reported in the ABC News, fracking will be banned for five years in Tasmania.
Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff declared a one-year fracking moratorium in March 2014, after considered 155 submissions on the subject. He said there was uncertainty around fracking, and his decision would “protect Tasmania’s reputation for producing fresh, premium and safe produce“.
In Australia there has been a lot if pressure to frack, but in a comprehensive paper by the Australian Institute, they conclude:
“The high price and big profits explain why the gas companies are pushing hard to expand CSG production in NSW and Victoria. In their campaign to get more gas out of the ground, the gas companies have made regular claims about the economic benefits of CSG. The truth of these claims is unverifiable, exaggerated or non-existent.”
But in Western Australia is may soon be illegal to “lock your gate” to stop fracking companies. With intention of clamping down on “radical” protest activities (such as Lock Your Gate), the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015 creates two new offences: physically preventing a lawful activity, and possessing a “thing” with the intention of physically preventing a lawful activity.