Vermilion (who else), the Canadian multinational energy business, intends to get its claws into the Tietjerk gas field
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Gemeente Leeuwarden has decided to officially position itself against further gas extraction in and around the village of Tietjerk, which lies partially within its municipal boundaries. The executive of the gemeente will now make its views clear in a letter to the national Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and will hope that the national government doesn’t grant a permit to the multinational Canadian oil and gas business Vermilion. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
In general, the Gemeente is also against further gas extraction in the Northern Netherlands, however this decision is stating its opposition to plans submitted by Vermilion. “The plan has too many open ends”, says the Gemeente.
One of the ongoing question marks above the plan is uncertainty regarding how much gas actually lies in the gas field. In any case, in order to extract any gas the giant multinational would utilise ‘fracking’: blasting bedrock with high-pressure fluid to make the gas collectable. Naturally, this comes with a large number of side effects, including localised earthquakes.
The Gemeente is also warning the national ministry not to give Vermilion a ‘carte blanche’; since any permit given would be for 30 years. “This would mean that government lose their grip on the direction of gas policy”, says the Gemeente.
Unfortunately local residents and government do not have the final say on the matter, with the national ministry capable of stomping all over local opinion and granting the permit anyway. This has happened with tens of other gas extraction sites across the North, with the policy of giving away gas permits reaching hyperspeed under the last Minister of Economic Affairs (and Climate), Eric Wiebes (VVD).
Other Gemeentes that have come out against gas extraction in the North include the Gemeente Tytsjerksteradiel, Gemeente Achtkarspelen, and the Gemeente Smallingerland.