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Germany Rejects Fracking

Common Dreams staff

Germany has rejected the gas drilling practice known as fracking, Spiegel reports today.

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The German newspaper reports that Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler were "very skeptical" about the process.

Environmental groups in Germany had already begun mobilizing and organizing protests to stop ExxonMobil's fracking plans.

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Spiegel: German Government to Oppose Fracking

Germany has put the brakes on plans to use hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, to extract natural gas in places where it is difficult to access, such as shale or coal beds. Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler have agreed to oppose the controversial process for the time being, SPIEGEL has learned.

Sources in the German government said that the ministers were "very skeptical" about fracking, which injects chemicals as well as sand and water into the ground to release natural gas. "There are many open questions which we will first have to carefully examine," Rösler told close associates.

With their stance, the two ministers are opposing plans by energy companies to use the fracking process to tap into deposits of natural gas in shale, especially in northern and eastern Germany.

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