German government bans unconventional fracking

Protest gegen Frackingvorhaben in Deutschland. ©Uwe Hiksch Bild: © Uwe Hiksch [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] - flickr

On June 24, the German Bundestag addressed the issue of fracking, in particular to address and distinguish conventional from unconventional fracking. While conventional fracking has been applied in Germany for a long time, there is now a ban on the unconventional degradation in slate, clay, and coal seem rock due to the Water Resources Act. Existing regulations for fracking in sandstone (conventional fracking) were tightened up in relation to drinking water protection, and the application of fracking technology has also been prohibited in sensitive areas such as national parks and water points.

With the aim of providing evidence in relation to the effects of fracking on the environment, however, four scientifically supported drilling sites were allowed ,apparently with no water polluting fracking fluids, however these must be re-approved by the local government. In five years, the German Bundestag will again address the issue and examine whether the prohibition of unconventional fracking can be canceled.

MPs from the Greens and the Left criticised the decision claiming it was abruptly cut down and they continue to demand a complete ban on the “risky technology”1.

Companies such as ExxonMobil and Wintershall had initially agreed to a five-year moratorium on extraction projects, but then decided to push the authorities for a decision, hastened the Bundestag to vote on the bill2. For the conventional fracking projects that ExxonMobil and Wintershall (a subsidiary of BASF), operate they now have legal clarity on the project3.


  1. http://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2016/kw25-de-fracking/429014, 6/24/2016, accessed on 27.06.2016 []
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/24/germany-bans-fracking-after-years-of-dispute?CMP=share_btn_tw , 6/24/2016, accessed on 06.27.2016 []
  3. http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article156566483/Fracking-Firmen-klagen-ueber-Wildwest-Methoden. html 06.26.2016, called on 28.06.2016 []
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