ExxonMobil wants to start fracking in Germany. Really badly. So while public opposition to the risky technology mounts and the German government seriously considers banning it, Exxon is lobbying for loopholes that will allow it to frack anyway.
There is now a mountain of evidence of the multiple dangers of fracking for oil and gas. The process contaminates groundwater with toxic chemicals, emits greenhouse gases, and even causes earthquakes. It is already banned in France and Bulgaria, and Germany has a moratorium in place while it decides whether to permanently ban the technology.
But behind the scenes, Exxon has been vigorously lobbying German politicians for exemptions for 'research and development' drilling -- and it looks like it's winning. Current proposals on the table to be discussed by Germany's cabinet next month contain this exemption. Which would mean Exxon would still be able to start exploratory fracking, with all the same risks.
And if fracking starts in Germany, it is bad news for other European countries that havenâ€™t spoken out against fracking.
Tell Exxon to stop trying to frack in Germany, and to stop lobbying against a comprehensive ban.
The debate over fracking in Germany has reached fever pitch in recent days, as the Environment Agency (UBA) has proposed a comprehensive ban. UBA President Maria Krautzberger said: "As long as crucial risks related to this technology cannot be predicted and likewise cannot be controlled, fracking should not be used in Germany to extract shale and coalbed gas... Fracking is and remains a risky technology. For this reason it requires tight safeguards to protect the environment and health."
And there is an alternative. Germany is already leading the world in renewable energy, from which it generates nearly 30% of its electricity. More investment in renewables, combined with energy efficiency in buildings to reduce gas consumption, would remove the need for fracked gas.
Banning fracking outright would send a message to Exxon that Europeans wonâ€™t stand for this destructive form of extraction when alternatives are available.
Exxon clearly does not care about the wishes of the German people, nor what's best for the environment. It is meddling in the democratic process in order to get what it wants -- the right to frack in Germany. But if we publicly expose the energy giant's actions, it will be much easier for politicians to stand up to this profit-driven industry lobbying, and agree a permanent ban.
Sign the petition telling Exxon to back off and allow Germany to ban fracking for good.
Thanks for all you do,
Anne and the rest of the team at SumOfUs
Fracking: Umweltbundesamt will Verbot und Probebohrungen, Energie Zukunft, July 31 2014
Fracking in Deutschland - BrÃ¼chiges Tabu, Wirtshafts Woche, July 3 2014
Germany moves closer to fracking ban, EurActive, July 31 2014
Campact's campaign against fracking in Germany