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Unconventional shale gas extraction - pleading for an honest debate

Prof Hans-Joachim Kümpel, President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover

Abstract: Although routinely used in Germany and elsewhere for decades, fracking technology has become controversial around 2011 here. Why is the felt risk so high? Among other reasons people tend to believe that ground water at greater depths is clean and worth to be protected, which is not the case. Fracking fluids injected at depths do by no means reduce the water quality there. Some are sceptic about the chemical additives in fracking fluids and the integrity of bore wells. The biggest challenge nowadays appears to regain acceptability. The coalition agreement of the present federal government is accounting for this, requesting an environmental protection assessment as well as participation of the public if fracking is going to be applied.