No fracking of shale gas in Luxembourg

Photo: Gerry Huberty

(CS/mas) On Tuesday the Luxembourg Parliament voted against a motion to extract underground shale gas due to concerns over the environmental impact of the process.

Fracking, also known as induced hydraulic fracturing, uses fluid pressure to break open rock formations, in order to release gas or fuel trapped underground.

LSAP MEP Robert Goebbels had suggested that Luxembourg could benefit from fracking which would make accessible shale gas supplies in the south of the country. However, he was met with heavy criticism by his peers, especially Green MEP Claude Turmes.

At the parliamentary session on Tuesday, Energy Minister Etienne Schneider reiterated environmental concerns, adding that an analysis had shown that the shale gas found in Bettembourg and Pétange was too close to the surface and in a densely populated area, making it unsuitable for fracking.

However, Schneider conceded that should a more sustainable method of extraction be found in the future, plans could be re-assessed.

Several MPs meanwhile added to the debate that the extraction of shale gas was not in the interest of moving Luxembourg towards the consumption of sustainable and green sources of energy.