Bulgarians, Romanians to Stage Anti-Shale Gas Protests
Bulgarians will stage a protest against shale gas drilling at the Durankulak border crossing point Wednesday at noon.
The demonstration is to support the rallies of Romanians who have also condemned shale gas exploration and extraction activities in the region of Dobrudzha.
Dobrudzha is among the most fertile and agriculturally used areas by both Romania and Bulgaria, and the method of hydraulic fracturing used to drill for shale gas is known to pose special hazards for the pollution of ground waters with little known chemicals and gas.
In early May, Romania's Environment Protection Agency issued permits to US energy giant Chevron to explore shale gas in two blocks in the Constanta municipality – the blocks of Costinesti and Vama Veche.
Bulgarians are scheduled to head for the border at 9 am and the demonstration at the Durankulak border crossing point is to take place at 12 noon.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria's new Environment Minister, Iskra Mihaylova, suggested Tuesday that the moratorium on shale gas drilling was an overprotective and inefficient measure.
Following a wave of environmental protests, Bulgaria's Parliament adopted on January 18, 2012, an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Thus, Bulgaria became the second EU country to ban test drilling for shale gas using the method.
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