The Council of State on Wednesday threw out economic affairs minister Henk Kamp’s latest decision on the amount of gas which can be extracted in Groningen.
The Council, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, says the minister must think again about how much gas may be extracted from below the province. While he rethinks his decision, the Council says a maximum of 27 billion cubic metres of gas may be extracted this year.
Kamp initially cut production by 4.5 billion cubic metres to 40 billion, but in June he said full-year production would be limited to a maximum of 33 billion cubic metres, broadcaster Nos reports.
The Council says Kamp’s estimates of the risk of earthquakes in Groningen is too low and that his estimate of how much gas must be reserved for customers is too high.
Government sources told the Financieele Dagblad the cut will lead to a €1bn shortfall for the treasury.
Wednesday also saw the opening of the first earthquake-proof supermarket in the Netherlands, according to local broadcaster RTV Noord.
The Albert Heijn in Loppersum has a wooden skeleton because wood absorbs shocks better than the usual concrete. In addition, shelves and frozen food cabinets are protected with rubber.
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