NGO Calls for Immediate Repeal of Shale Gas Ban in Bulgaria

Business » ENERGY | March 4, 2013, Monday // 15:42

The Energy Independence Movement, a NGO, has called upon the resigning Cabinet of PM Boyko Borisov and the GERB party to revoke the moratorium on the exploration and extraction of shale gas that it adopted in 2012 after street protests.

According to Dimitar Ivanov, chairperson of the NGO who spoke at a news conference in Sofia Monday, the GERB MPs can repeal the shale gas ban in the days left of their term before the early elections scheduled for May 12, which would be a sign of an "insightful decisions".

Ivanov stated that there is a "new Cold War" in the world but over shale gas as the new technology for shale gas extraction reduced the natural gas prices in the USA but is strongly opposed by Russia which is the world's top exporter of conventionally extracted natural gas.

"The protests against shale gas in Bulgaria were well orchestrated by people who have a vested interest in Bulgaria remaining an energy dependent country," the head of the Energy Independence Movement added, as cited by BTA.

In his words, it was exactly those organizations that protested against shale gas last year out of alleged environmental concerns who have now brought down the Borisov Cabinet.

"It is the same people who raised a voice against shale gas that we now see in the front line of the protests. That's why the government and the parliamentary majority have nothing to lose, and can stand up before the voters in order to give a green light to this resource that can guarantee our energy independence," he elaborated.

Hristo Kazandzhiev, a former director at the natural resource directorate at Bulgaria's Economy Ministry, who also spoke at the news conference, alleged that if Bulgaria started extracting shale gas, this would reduce the electricity and heating bills in the country by half.

In his words, there is not a single case in the world in which the extraction of natural (shale) gas through hydraulic fracking led to irreversible contamination of nature.

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Tags: Energy Independence Movement, shale gas, shale gas exploration, Dimitar Ivanov, GERB, Boyko Borisov, moratorium, Russia, USA, protests, protest rallies, Hristo Kazandzhiev, Economy Ministry
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