Ruling parties support shale gas extraction, if done cleanly

The two ruling parties VVD and PvdA support the extraction of shale gas from underneath the Netherlands, Nos television reports on Wednesday, ahead of parliamentary debate on the issue.

The VVD has long been a supporter but Labour is now also in favour, if it can be done cleanly and safely, Nos says.

Shale gas is ordinary natural gas that has been trapped in dense shale beds. It is extracted using a controversial process known as fracking, which involves drilling a hole deep into the shale and pumping in water mixed with sand and chemicals.

Opposition

A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas because of the risk of pollution.

Last week, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said if the Netherlands gave the green light to shale gas production it would only account for a couple of percent of current natural gas production.

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