The European Union is to look more closely at hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – and the environmental concerns surrounding the practice, according to the EU’s energy commissioner.
Guenther Oettinger told the German newspaper Die Welt it would be “absolutely right” to protect areas where there is drinking and ground water.
Fracking has taken place in some European countries such as Poland. It involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at intense pressure to break up rock patterns and release shale gas. It could provide a relatively inexpensive energy source. But critics believe it could pollute the water supply and increase the risk of earth tremors.
The commissioner called on Germany, where some companies are looking to explore fracking, not to dismiss it too quickly. He said the country’s engineering expertise should make test drilling possible.
The British government is also reportedly keen to accelerate plans to develop the practice.
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