Bulgarian Environmentalists Hold Protests Against Shale Gas
Bulgarian environment protection activists protested on Wednesday against prospecting for shale and coal gas and their extraction in Bulgaria’s northeastern Dobrudzha region.
Key demands of the protesters who rallied in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, include legislative, administrative and technological measures to enforce the 2012 complete ban on the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique, also known as fracking, on the country's territory and in its territorial waters.
The protesters claim that extraction of coal gas and shale are inevitably tied to the use of the controversial technique that involves injecting water and chemicals under high pressure into the ground to break rock and access underlying fossil fuelsto extract gas.
They fear the use of fracking could result in water pollution on the entire territory of Dobrudzha - a region often referred to as the breadbasket of Bulgaria.
They also claim that the environment ministry and the economy ministry had issued permits to a US-based company to prospect for and extract gas near the village of Vranino in violation of the ban.
The two ministries had said that the permit was relating only to prospecting for gas and not for its extraction.
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