Minister under pressure over gas extraction as more earthquakes hit
Tuesday 12 February 2013
The Labour party on Tuesday called for gas extraction in Groningen to be scaled back 'immediately', putting considerable pressure on economic affairs minister Henk Kamp.
There is now a parliamentary majority for decreasing the amount of gas extracted in the northern province, where there have been eight earthquakes measuring between 1.1 and 3.2 on the Richter scale in the past five days.
Two weeks ago, Kamp held a public meeting in Groningen where he said more clarity would be given on the risk of strong earthquakes as a result of gas drilling. He said then he wanted to know by December whether gas group NAM can lower the risk by finding an alternative way of extracting the gas.
Labour MP Jan Vos said on Monday evening his party now wants a reduction in gas extraction 'within months'. This brings to six the number of opposition parties calling for a quick resolution of the problem.
Meanwhile, 1,500 people have made claims for damages since the series of earthquakes began last Thursday. NAM is making €100m available for repair work and for strengthening buildings in the area.