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Spanish Government Lays Ground For Shale Development

Howard Brereton, Typically Spanish

Spain joins Poland and the UK in advancing shale gas development.

The Spanish Government, led by the Industry Minister, José Manuel Soria, has decided to help companies interested in exploring shale gas resources which could be hidden under the Iberian peninsular.

However, despite the early days of the technique, there is already a fierce anti-fracking movement in Spain. They say that water tables could be damaged for ever and already the technique has been seen to cause earthquakes.

The Government approved in Cabinet on Friday to remit to Congress the project for the Law of Environmental Evaluation, which among other things, would oblige all the projects which use fracking to submit an ‘evaluation of impact’ report. This is the first time such a move has been contemplated.

It means that the Government has advanced fracking and given legal protection to the controversial technique. Spain therefore joins countries such as Poland and the U.K. which have also set a course to reduce their dependence on outside energy.

The Superior College of Mining Engineering presented a report some months ago. It said that there was enough shale gas for 39 years in Spain, interesting for a country which imports 99% of its hydrocarbons, but nevertheless ecologist groups and dozens of Town Halls and provincial governments, and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, (FEMP) have present 103 motions against fracking.

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