The local residents say they would rather their area is used to produce renewable and clean energy
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Residents of the villages that sit on top of the Grou-Raerd gas field in Friesland have sent a joint letter to both the fossil fuel company Vermilion and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to register their disapproval at plans to continue extracting gas until 2030. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Vermilion, who have been largely responsible for extracting the Northern Netherlands’ gas reserves in recent years, were denied a permit to continue drilling for gas by both the Gemeentes Leeuwarden and Súdwest-Fryslân, and also the Wetterskip Fryslân Extraction stopped in 2012, but Vermilion are now back for more. The residents of the villages are using the letter to say that gas extraction should stop permanently, and are asking for compensation from Vermilion, as well as promises for support if any induced earthquakes damage their homes in the future.
Hylke Riemersma, from the dorpsbelang Friens group representing the village of Friens, says: “up until 2012 there was gas extracted from under Raerd, Grou, Jirnsum; Friens, Reduzum, Eagum; and Idaerd. After that, the extraction stopped for feasibility reasons, but now there is a plan to get that last bit out.”
But Vermilion have friends in high places
Displaying a startling lack of awareness, Vermilion’s application was actually given the go-ahead by the Dutch government, who steamrollered local opinion. So, Riemersma and the other campaigners are asking for more research to be done: “we want to be certain how the ground will react before anything happens, and we want the research done by an independent bureau.”
The residents groups have said that rather than their area contribute to further fossil fuel extraction, they would prefer efforts go into creating a local clean and sustainable energy supply.