Bart van der Werf, the chairperson for the far right Forum for Democracy faction in the Groningen provincial council, is in favour of pumping the natural gas field in the province completely dry.
Translation by Traci White
In an interview with OOG TV, Van Der Werf described the natural gas as a gold mine and said it would be a waste to leave it underground. The Groninger Internet Courant reports that Van Der Werf said that the profits from the continued operations should go to the province. “That would make people more supportive of the industry in the region.”
Van Der Werf conceded that the faction has yet to formalise its plans for the province. “Our priorities are affordable housing, handling the earthquake damage claims and improving accessibility of the province.”
Plans to compensate owners of damaged property was included in the party’s re-election platform, but the far right party’s support for continuing gas extraction was not. The party’s logic seems downright circular: money from the gas extraction will be used to repair homes damaged by earthquakes induced by the ongoing operations.
The OOG TV interview marks the first time that the party chairperson has confirmed that this is the party’s stance in a public forum: Van Der Werf reportedly previously mentioned the party’s pro-gas extraction position during a party conference.