Sofianites Gather for New Anti-Shale Gas Rally

Business » ENERGY | December 11, 2012, Tuesday // 12:32| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Sofianites Gather for New Anti-Shale Gas Rally "It is either shale gas or us," the banner says. Photo by BTA

A small number of people staged an anti-fracking protest in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on Tuesday.

The demonstration was prompted by a two-day energy conference organized by the Bulgarian Energy Forum. The protesters fear that the ongoing conference would serve as a lobbying instrument in favor of lifting the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the country.

According to the Bulgarian National Radio, the protesters have criticized the Parliament's temporary committee formed to study, analyze, and discuss good practices and legislative solutions on the regulation of exploration and extraction of mineral and energy resources.

The protesters want lawmakers Dian Chervenkondev and Iskra Mihaylova to quit the committee, since they believe the two MPs have a pro-shale gas bias.

The civil initiative that organized Tuesday's protest has also demanded the resignation of Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev.

The Bulgarian parliament adopted on January 18 an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Thus, Bulgaria became the second EU country to ban test drilling for shale gas using the metod.The decision followed a wave of environmental protests.

On January 17, the Bulgarian government revoked a shale gas exploration permit granted to Chevron for deposits in Northeastern Bulgaria, citing the insufficient proof of the environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing.

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