Newsbytes: Greens Lose Battle As Germany Prepares To Lift Ban On Fracking

From the GWPF: How Fracking Helps America Beat German Industry

Germany is set to lift its ban on fracking as early as next year, after caving in to business demands that it should reduce its dependency on Russian energy and boost competitiveness with US manufacturers. Fracking has been the subject of a fierce debate in Germany’s ruling coalition, with some politicians keen to reduce reliance on Russian energy imports, while others fear the impact of fracking chemicals on a densely populated country.

–Jeevan Vasagar, Financial Times, 5 June 2014

1) Greens Lose Battle As Germany Prepares To Lift Ban On Fracking – Financial Times, 5 June 2014
2) And Here’s Why: How Fracking Helps America Beat German Industry – Reuters, 2 June 2014
3) U.K. Government Proposes Law to Make Shale-Gas Drilling Easier – Bloomberg, 4 June 2014
4) 50 British Scientists Call On Government To Fast-Track Fracking – The Guardian, 5 June 2014
5) Europe Cooling: EU Omitting Climate Change From Agenda In Energy Security Push, Prescott Warns – Bloomberg News, 4 June 2014
The green mantra is a European obsession. It’s a quasi-religious belief system that is very difficult to shift, very entrenched, in some countries more than others, and it is holding back development. My feeling is, given Europe’s economic crisis and the potential economic benefit of shale, it’s only a question of time that the Continent will also exploit its resources. It might take one country to lead, but once the shale gas is coming out of the ground in big enough volumes and countries start benefiting from it, others will follow – it’s inevitable. –Benny Peiser, Europe Will Come Around, Natural Gas Europe, 21 February 2013

Thanks in large part to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power. In the United States, electricity prices are falling thanks to natural gas derived from fracking. Peter Huntsman, chief executive of the family firm, calls the United States the new global standard for low-cost manufacturing. Huntsman is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand in the United States, and rapidly closing plants in Europe. That’s a dramatic change from just a few years ago, when Germany was held up as a model of manufacturing prowess. –Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, 2 June 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s energy policies – designed to sharply boost the share of renewables in Germany’s energy mix, tackle climate change and cut Germany’s dependency on foreign gas and oil – are a rising source of concern for the country’s industry, particularly energy-intensive companies like Wacker. According to Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, half of the country’s industrial companies believe their global competitiveness is threatened by Germany’s energy policy, and a quarter of them are either shifting production abroad or considering doing so. –Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, 2 June 2014

The U.K. government will introduce a law to make exploring for shale oil and gas easier. In a speech setting out the government’s legislative plans for the next year, Queen Elizabeth II said a bill would be proposed to “enhance the U.K.’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites.” David Cameron’s government wants the development of shale reserves to replace aging North Sea fields and cut energy costs. The U.K. estimates areas in northern England may hold 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to meet demand for 50 years at an extraction rate similar to U.S. fields. –Nidaa Bakhsh, Bloomberg, 4 June 2014

A group of 50 academics from some of the UK’s leading universities today call on politicians to fast-track a UK shale gas industry, the latest salvo in an increasingly polarised debate around fracking. In a letter to the Guardian on Thursday, the scientists argue there are “undeniable economic, environmental and national security benefits” from shale being produced in the north-west of the country. –Terry Macalister, Damian Carrington and Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 5 June 2014

1) Greens Lose Battle As Germany Prepares To Lift Ban On Fracking
Financial Times, 5 June 2014
Jeevan Vasagar
Germany is set to lift its ban on fracking as early as next year, after caving in to business demands that it should reduce its dependency on Russian energy and boost competitiveness with US manufacturers.
Applications to carry out the controversial process for extracting the country’s estimated 2.3tn cubic metres shale gas reserves will be subject to an environmental impact assessment under new legislation to be discussed by the cabinet before the summer recess.
Fracking has been the subject of a fierce debate in Germany’s ruling coalition, with some politicians keen to reduce reliance on Russian energy imports, while others fear the impact of fracking chemicals on a densely populated country.
German manufacturers have been strong advocates of the new technology, which they believe has provided cheap shale gas energy to their US competitors while Germany grapples with a costly switch to subsidised renewables.
Details of the new regulations emerged in a letter from Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister, to the head of the Bundestag’s budget committee. In the letter, Mr Gabriel wrote that permission to carry out fracking would be subject to approval from regional water authorities and that “further requirements for the fracking permit process are still being considered”. [...]
The EU’s energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has urged European governments to allow fracking “demonstration projects” to diversify the continent’s sources of energy.
Full story (subscription required)
2) And Here’s Why: How Fracking Helps America Beat German Industry
Reuters, 2 June 2014
-Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder
Nestled in the green hills of southern Germany, chemical giant Wacker Chemie churns out a wide range of product, from an ingredient for chewing gum to the polysilicon crystals in solar cells.
The electricity to produce all that – enough power for more than 700,000 households annually – has become more costly at Wacker’s main factory in Burghausen. It has played a big part in pushing up the firm’s total energy bill by 70 percent over the last five years, to nearly half a billion euros.
It’s a different story across the Atlantic in the U.S. state of Louisiana. There, chemicals maker Huntsman Corp pays 22 percent less for its power than it did just seven years ago.
The tale of those numbers underlines a profound shift underway in two of the world’s biggest industrial powers. Thanks in large part to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power. On average, German industrial companies with large power appetites paid about 0.15 euros ($0.21) per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity last year, according to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency.

In the United States, electricity prices are falling thanks to natural gas derived from fracking – the hydraulic fracturing of rock. Louisiana now boasts industrial electricity prices of just $0.055 per kWh, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Peter Huntsman, chief executive of the family firm, calls the United States the new global standard for low-cost manufacturing. Huntsman is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand in the United States, and rapidly closing plants in Europe. The company estimates that a large, modern petrochemical plant in the United States is $125 million cheaper to run per year than in Europe. That sum includes cheaper power, waste disposal and myriad other factors, and Huntsman said the contrast is similar for Asian plants.
That’s a dramatic change from just a few years ago, when Germany was held up as a model of manufacturing prowess. As recently as 2011, politicians in Washington were openly discussing how to copy Germany’s success.
“We need to be more like Germany,” General Electric Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said in an interview that year with Reuters.
Now things are heading the other way. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s energy policies – designed to sharply boost the share of renewables in Germany’s energy mix, tackle climate change and cut Germany’s dependency on foreign gas and oil – are a rising source of concern for the country’s industry, particularly energy-intensive companies like Wacker. According to Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, half of the country’s industrial companies believe their global competitiveness is threatened by Germany’s energy policy, and a quarter of them are either shifting production abroad or considering doing so. The United States is among the top destinations.
In March, BMW, the world’s largest luxury carmaker, said it would invest $1 billion to expand its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, making it the German group’s biggest production facility by 2016. In all, German companies invested more than 800 billion euros in U.S. expansions between 2008 and 2012, according to the most recent Bundesbank statistics. Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry reckons that investments could reach 200 billion euros in 2014, an all-time high.
Full story
3) U.K. Government Proposes Law to Make Shale-Gas Drilling Easier
Bloomberg, 4 June 2014
Nidaa Bakhsh
The U.K. government will introduce a law to make exploring for shale oil and gas easier.
In a speech setting out the government’s legislative plans for the next year, Queen Elizabeth II said a bill would be proposed to “enhance the U.K.’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites.”

Today, companies planning to drill onshore need to obtain consent from every landowner whose property a well may pass under. The new law will remove the need for this permission, the government said. Drilling for shale often involves horizontal wells that run for hundreds of meters, so can pass under several different properties.
David Cameron’s government wants the development of shale reserves to replace aging North Sea fields and cut energy costs. The U.K. estimates areas in northern England may hold 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to meet demand for 50 years at an extraction rate similar to U.S. fields.
The proposed legislation will bring the sector in line with the mining industry and have “no noticeable effect on the lives of home and property owners,” the U.K. Onshore Operators Group, an industry body, said in a statement.
Full story

4) 50 British Scientists Call On Government To Fast-Track Fracking
The Guardian, 5 June 2014
Terry Macalister, Damian Carrington and Patrick Wintour
A group of 50 academics from some of the UK’s leading universities today call on politicians to fast-track a UK shale gas industry, the latest salvo in an increasingly polarised debate around fracking.
In a letter to the Guardian on Thursday, the scientists argue there are “undeniable economic, environmental and national security benefits” from shale being produced in the north-west of the country. The move comes just days after Sir Paul McCartney and 150 other celebrities called on the government to immediately halt all drilling operations on the grounds that they could damage the environment. New measures were included in the Queen’s speech to allow shale companies to drill more easily under people’s homes. The government, aware of the risk of a backbench rebellion and the threat of legal actions, stressed any proposals to reform the trespass laws were “entirely dependent on the outcome of a government consultation”.
Cameron assured MPs that the measures would not impact on anyone’s garden, with his officials saying any digging would take place at a minimum of 300m underground with compensation provided to local communities.
[The letter] says: “As geoscientists and petroleum engineers from Britain’s leading academic institutions, we call on all political and decision-makers at all levels to put aside their political differences and focus on the undeniable economic, environmental and national security benefits on offer to the UK from the responsible development of natural gas from Lancashire’s shale.”
Full story
5) Europe Cooling: EU Omitting Climate Change From Agenda In Energy Security Push, Prescott Warns
Bloomberg News, 4 June 2014
Alex Morales and Ewa Krukowska
The European Union risks losing ground in the fight against climate change as it tries to shore up energy security in response to concerns about dependence on Russian gas, said John Prescott, the bloc’s lead negotiator for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The annexation of Crimea by Russia has pushed the issue of energy security to the top of the European political agenda as the 28-nation bloc devises plans to cut reliance on natural gas imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom. That risks overshadowing the debate about cutting greenhouse gases, according to Prescott, former deputy prime minister of the U.K.
“The great danger is it’s all becoming energy security,” Prescott said. The meetings will aim to isolate Russia, and “will have nothing to say on climate change.”
The EU’s energy dependency rate is set to rise to 80 percent by 2035 from 60 percent, according to the International Energy Agency. Russian gas met about 30 percent of EU consumption last year, according to Gazprom. The European Commission on May 28 presented a draft energy security strategy that EU heads of state will discuss during two days of meeting starting June 26 in Brussels.
Juergen Lefevere, a negotiator for the European Commission at the latest round of UN climate talks that began yesterday in Bonn, said the EU has set out a clear timeline to decide on new climate goals.
Striking Balance
“I haven’t seen that risk materialize in any of the EU discussions that I’ve been aware of so far,” Lefevere said in an interview. “There is a balance between energy security concerns and climate concerns, and that balance is very carefully kept.”
The bloc in October aims to decide on an energy and climate-change package laying out targets through 2030. The commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, in January proposed cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, up from a 2020 target of 20 percent.
At the same time, a bloc of eastern and central European nations, led by coal-reliant Poland, say they won’t support those targets without a “fair” distribution of the effort.
Full story

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50 Responses to Newsbytes: Greens Lose Battle As Germany Prepares To Lift Ban On Fracking

  1. cnxtim says:

    The birth of a return to sanity – now to cease the massive waste of taxpayers funds dedicated to the unproven theory of CAGW. Now !7 years 10 months of no change in the earth’s accurately measured temperature.

  2. John says:

    Great news indeed. 👍

  3. norah4you says:

    It’s the same as building a high massive wall not to let the fox into the chicken, but instead open the door to the chickens nest for the wulf.
    There never ever been a manmade CO2 threat but all around the world there has been a hugh problem for man to have clean air and clean water to drink. Man has polluted the air, ground and water not only by building industries on wrong places. The hugh problem always been that man hardly ever used “closed”-systems not to harm the soil nor the water……

  4. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    This is no longer the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  5. geogeek says:

    Fracken sie Deutsch!

  6. M Simon says:

    President Insanity will do what he can to end fracking in the US.

  7. pat says:

    does this give the impression China’s heart isn’t in it?

    6 June: AFP: Carbon: China hopes peak will come ‘as early as possible’
    China hopes its emissions of greenhouse gases will peak “as early as possible” but its experts differ as to when it will happen, its chief negotiator at UN climate talks said Thursday…
    “China is doing its utmost to reduce its carbon intensity,” said Xie (Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission).
    “However, you have to bear in mind that China is in the process of realising modernisation, and the total amount of CO2 will be increasing in the future.”…
    “China will do its utmost to peak as early as possible,” Xie said, speaking via an interpreter.
    “If asked whether China is thinking about when will the emissions be peaking, yes we are studying about that and we are trying to find the date.”
    But, he said, “the peaking year is a very complex issue and related very closely to economic development, social development and environmental issues.”
    Chinese experts were still wrangling over the answer, said Xie.
    “This process has been going on for more than one year and I can tell you that opinions of scientists and scholars differ quite a lot,” he said.
    “We are working very hard and try to find a balanced equilibrium and economic development and environmental protection.”
    “We hope that we can find an answer to that issue as early as possible,” he added…
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/24180061/carbon-china-hopes-peak-will-come-as-early-as-possible/

  8. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Reality = Truth. Or which ever way you want to put it.

  9. pat says:

    BBC’s Matt McGrath adds a little to the AFP China report:

    5 June: BBC: Matt McGrath: China’s experts divided over carbon emissions peak
    Mr Xie revealed that he had been personally told of the US move to curb power plant emissions in a phone call from America’s special envoy on climate, Todd Stern.
    He offered some support for the American move.
    “People in the US have quite differing opinions, some people supporting and there are also strong opposition, and the US government by making this decision have overcome many difficulties,” the negotiator explained.
    Mr Xie said that China would work hard to get agreement on a global climate treaty, agreed by all nations, in Paris in December 2015.
    China would be in a position to outline what it will be able to offer as part of that deal, in the first half of next year, he said.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27538716

  10. SAMURAI says:

    The Greens, and pretty much ALL leftists for that matter, have gained power through their holy trifecta of vote exploitation through: irrational fear, irrational envy and irrational guilt.

    Is it any surprise that the results of their irrational ideology are horrendous, and ironically cause MORE global pollution by destroying their domestic industrial base and force production to countries with lax pollution standards?

    Moreover, these irrational policies increase unemployment, decrease standards of living, decrease GDP growth, add to increased government debt, greatly increase energy costs, add to increased money printing, add to currencies destruction and increase prices for everything…

    When money is irrationally wasted on irrational government policies, it prevents the rational allocation of land/labor/capital that could have rationally solved the problems that the leftist actually made worse…. Oh, the irony.

    How wonderful… Leftists destroy economies and societies for a temporary and spurious warm and fuzzy feeling…

    And so it goes….until freedom and logic are restored….

  11. SAMURAI says:

    pat says:
    June 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm
    does this give the impression China’s heart isn’t in it?

    6 June: AFP: Carbon: China hopes peak will come ‘as early as possible’
    China hopes its emissions of greenhouse gases will peak “as early as possible” but its experts differ as to when it will happen, its chief negotiator at UN climate talks said Thursday…
    “China is doing its utmost to reduce its carbon intensity,” said Xie (Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission).

    Blah, blah, blah….
    ———————————————————————————–

    When dealing with Chinese, I’m always reminded by that old perfume ad slogan, “Promise her anything, but give her Arpege…”

    The Chinese are absolutely ecstatic the West continues to squander money on Green Elephant projects that cause manufacturers to flock to China’s shores. The Chinese will feign support for “green” energy, and “promise us anything”, while continuing to build 1000’s of dirty coal burning plants, and moving forward on their LFTR/advanced nuke programs, which will eventually replace all their coal-fired plants…

    Why does Arpege smell so much like BS?

    The West is so gullible, it’s pathetic.

  12. Alex says:

    Pat
    Anything you read about China you have to take with a grain of salt.
    They are not really interested in CO2 reduction. They are more interested in efficiency. ‘Maintenance’ is a dirty word in chinese, it implies ‘ripping-off’ or something like that. They also want new new new. I have seen many a new car at the side of the road with the bonnet up because they don’t even want to service their cars.
    So the government can’t get companies to upgrade their equipment or install antipollution machinery-its too easy to turn off. So what they do is resume the land the company is on and then give them new land ‘somewhere else’ and subsidise the construction of a new factory that has to be built to modern standards. Along the way they can show various statistics about CO2 reduction.
    Their concern about air pollution is more about particulate matter and noxious fumes. The national government fined the city I live in , Shenyang , because the air quality wasn’t up to standard. Not a company or individuals, a city.
    Foreign journalists are considered a joke here. They spend most of their them in bars and pat each other on the back about being published.

  13. Alex says:

    SAMURAI
    The power plants they build are the latest technology. Probably the best in the world. They don’t install old technology.

  14. MikeUK says:

    The GWPF seems to be growing in strength and prestige, evidenced by the increasing attacks on it from “greens”. I’m looking forward to seeing GWPF spokespeople on TV whenever Greenpeace is asked for its views.

    Does the US have an equivalent to the GWPF? Whatever became of the poll on here for such a thing (or similar) to be created?

  15. Stephen Richards says:

    Thanks in large part to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power

    That’s why VW’s biggest factory is in the USA followed by BMW and Mercedes. European jobs in USA. Great idea for the greens.

  16. pat says:

    btw i fully realise china is merely looking out for its own interests, and so it should.

  17. pat says:

    china/india/russia etc will no doubt take note.

    5 June: Financial Times: Canada poised to dilute EU rules over tar sands oil
    By Christian Oliver in Brussels and Ed Crooks in New York
    Canada looks set to win a big concession in forthcoming EU environment legislation that would open the European market for fuel derived from the oil sands of Alberta…
    After years of lobbying, Canadian officials have persuaded the European Commission to change the methodology for the latest draft of the “fuel quality directive”. The result of the changes, if approved, would be that fuels derived from tar sands would not face discriminatory penalties…
    Europe could be an important market for tar sands oil following the completion of new pipelines including TransCanada’s proposed Energy East project to take oil from Alberta to Canada’s east coast.
    Oil from the sands is also important for US refiners, some of which export some of their fuel production to the EU and hope to export more.
    Chris Davies, a European parliamentarian on the environment committee, said that Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate action commissioner, had lost out to stronger voices in the commission with industrial and trade portfolios. “She got beat,” said Mr Davies.
    ***A spokesman for Ms Hedegaard declined to comment…
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9f459ad4-ecc5-11e3-a57e-00144feabdc0.html

  18. pat says:

    b’berg/businessweek pick up the london diesel story:

    5 June: Bloomberg/Businessweek: Alex Morales: London Leads the EU in Car Pollution; Diesel Fuel Blamed
    The European Union’s fight against climate change has favored diesel over gasoline…
    “Successive governments knew more than 10 years ago that diesel was producing all these harmful pollutants, but they myopically plowed on with their anti-CO2 agenda,” says Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air in London, a nonprofit. “It’s been a catastrophe for air pollution, and that’s not too strong a word.” …
    In addition to nitrogen dioxide, diesel combustion also generates easily inhaled fine particulate matter, which probably killed 3,389 people in London in 2010, the government agency Public Health England said in April…
    According to the EEA, districts in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Paris, and Rome also exceeded the ceiling. The second- and third-worst sites were in Stuttgart. “It is a problem that you get in all big cities with a lot of traffic,” says Alberto González Ortiz, project manager for air quality at the EEA. “In many cases it’s gotten worse because of the new fleets of diesel cars.”…
    The switch to diesel began with an agreement between carmakers and the EU in 1998 to lower the average CO2 emissions of new vehicles…
    ***“The challenge is much greater than we had thought just a few years ago,” says Matthew Pencharz, environment and energy adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson. “A lot of that is due to a well-meant EU policy that failed. We’re stuck now with these diesel cars—about half our cars are diesel, whereas 10, 15 years ago, it was lower than 10 percent.”
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-05/london-leads-eu-in-car-pollution-diesel-fuel-blamed

  19. pat says:

    who will be held accountable?

    6 June: Bloomberg/Businessweek: Rachel Morison: Europe Faces Green Power Curbs After Fivefold Expansion
    Europe’s drive toward a power system based on renewable energy has gone so far that output will probably need to be cut within months because of oversupply.
    Network operators are likely to curb solar and wind generation at times of low demand to prevent overloading the region’s 188,000 miles of power lines, Entso-e, the grid association in Brussels, said last month…
    Europe’s fivefold surge in green energy in the past decade pushed prices to a nine-year low and wiped out $400 billion in market value of utilities from Germany’s RWE AG (RWE) to GDF Suez SA in Paris. There’s so much power available on windy and sunny days in Germany and Austria that the number of hours producers had to pay consumers to use it doubled in the first five months of 2014, data from the Epex Spot SE exchange in Paris show…
    “The system is costly and we need intelligent answers,”Johannes Teyssen, chief executive officer of Dusseldorf, Germany-based EON SE, said June 2 in an interview at the Eurelectric conference in London. “There are some hours where it is inevitable that we will be oversupplied.” …
    “In some member states we have been too fast,” in expanding renewables, the European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said June 3 in an interview at the Eurelectric conference.
    ***The region needs better infrastructure to integrate the new power, he said…
    Eight countries from Germany to Bulgaria will need to export or curtail generation, including renewables, at times of low demand during most of this summer, Entso-e said in its May 22 Summer Outlook. Risks to grid operations will be most acute in Bulgaria, Spain and Romania, where capacity to ship power to neighboring countries is less than what’s needed, the 41-member group said…
    “It is hard to predict when the grid operator will intervene and for how long and it’s a big problem,” said Burkhard Steinhausen, whose team at Trianel GmbH manages the output of 3,000 megawatts of renewable capacity on behalf of producers…
    ***“If the grid isn’t expanded at the same pace as renewables expansion then, it will happen more often,” he said June 4 by phone from Aachen, Germany…
    Rather than switching off or curbing output at coal and nuclear plants that take hours to return to full output, some producers may keep generating, knowing prices may turn negative, which mean they’ll have to pay users to take the power…
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-06-05/europe-faces-green-power-curbs-after-fivefold-expansion-energy

  20. Twobob says:

    Politicians say no fracking today.
    Big business say some money will pay.
    Politicians say bloody Fracking Ok.

  21. DirkH says:

    There’s been fracking in Germany since at least the 1960ies; for instance in the region of Lüneburger Heide, where tight oil formations got pumped. Just no horizontal drilling at the time. And no Green pressure group protests.

    A little bit to the Northeast of Hannover. At that time the Land of Lower-Saxony had oil production tax income that made them one of the better off lands, and we had to pay money in the internal finance redistibution scheme of the lands to lands that were worse off at the time.

    The whole outrage about fracking in Germany and the media debate NEVER mentions this. Our state TV journalists (a.k.a. pond scum) always invite Greenpeace members as “experts” on energy into their talk shows yet these experts don’t seem to know this. Funny that.

  22. beng says:

    And all this despite O’dumdum’s efforts to stifle US industry — the regime must have been caught off guard by the speed US industry responds to developments. The US private industry still has some resistance against creeping eco-socialism.

  23. Helium says:

    Well, i’m from Germany and i would like to say “Abwarten und Tee trinken” (Sceptical version of “Wait and see”). I’m not convinced that this is the last word on this topic. I have ample experience with the persistence of the green movement in Germany (I’m now in nuclear engineering).

  24. ferdberple says:

    The Putin effect.

  25. Stephen Richards says:
    June 6, 2014 at 12:33 am
    Thanks in large part to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power

    That’s why VW’s biggest factory is in the USA …

    VW’s biggest factory by far is in Wolfsburg, Germany. It must be something like 50 times bigger than their sole factory on US soil in Chattanooga. Almost two thirds of VW’s currently planned investments will occur in Germany. For perspective, in 2012, Apple made a much-publicized commitment to invest 100 million dollars in manufacturing in the U.S. At the same time, VW, which is of similar size in terms of revenue, announced domestic investments of 40 billion dollars over some 4 years or so.

    This is what the U.S. need to emulate—capital must be invested, and manufacturing jobs secured and created at home. German companies continue to do that.

  26. PaulH says:

    Germany is set to lift its ban on fracking as early as next year, after caving in to business demands that it should reduce its dependency on Russian energy and boost competitiveness with US manufacturers.

    I’m not sure it’s about caving in to business demands, rather it’s about practical necessity and resistance to phony scares.

  27. JEM says:

    “a well-meant EU policy that failed”

    Perhaps he should have said “another of the dozens of well-meant EU policies that have failed”

    See piece over at BH on neonicitinoids and bumblebees.

  28. JEM says:

    Michael Palmer – let’s remember that VW, corporately, can’t break wind without the permission of the government of Lower Saxony.

    Further, let’s remember that VW is not just VW – it’s VAG, including Audi, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley* and now Porsche** plus probably a bunch of other auto and non-auto operations I’m forgetting or ignorant of.

    * – somewhere there’s an unemployable lawyer, VAG thought they were buying Rolls-Royce, they did get the plants and the designs and the Bentley name but BMW figured out that the automaker didn’t own the RR name, zipped in and bought it from – Vickers?

    ** – mouse tried to eat elephant, elephant sneezed and swallowed mouse.

  29. mpainter says:

    Looks like the ebb-tide for the German Green movement has set in. This is handwriting on the wall-
    “You have been weighed in the scales and you have been found lacking”.

  30. Rob says:

    I just love hearing John Prescott whinge that energy security trumps climate change! Makes up for the fact that old “two jags” (his nickname from his time as UK deputy Prime Minister when he famously used one of his two jaguar cars to drive 250m from a hotel to a conference) has got some EU sinecure.

  31. JEM says:
    June 6, 2014 at 8:28 am
    Michael Palmer – let’s remember that VW, corporately, can’t break wind without the permission of the government of Lower Saxony. …

    Well, VW was just an example.

    The contribution of manufacturing to GDP is roughly twice higher in Germany than in the US or the UK – that wouldn’t be the case without broadly sustained investment at home. It’s not politically enforced, primarily – it is a cultural thing.

  32. DirkH says:

    Helium says:
    June 6, 2014 at 5:49 am
    “Well, i’m from Germany and i would like to say “Abwarten und Tee trinken” (Sceptical version of “Wait and see”). I’m not convinced that this is the last word on this topic. I have ample experience with the persistence of the green movement in Germany (I’m now in nuclear engineering).”

    They’re old and disorganized – the Maoist leaders, Trittin, Kretschmann, Fischer are gone, Kretschmann has his fiefdom in Stuttgart for the time being and it will be Good Riddance in the next election; Greenpeace lost their psychopath leader McTaggart 12 years ago… Little more than controlled opposition left – paymaster now NATO instead of the KGB; agenda now organizing mass immigration – doing the bidding of the EU commission -, not anything “green”…

  33. James at 48 says:

    Fracking is about to go fracking wild all around the Baltic.

  34. Oldseadog says:

    Rob:
    I hold no brief for John Prescott, but in the interest of fairness I point out that at the time referred to above he owned an elderly Jaguar, i.e. it was his personal property, and he also had the use of a government owned one to use on official duties.
    Anyone who owns a classic Jag can’t be all bad, can they?

  35. Gary Pearse says:

    What’s the fuss? EU is on its way to meet green targets as is. Once the main automakers, chemical manufacturers, glass makers, foundry’s…. anyone needing energy for manufacturing moves to the US they’ll exceed the target. Energy security? Fit cows and vegetarians with methane collectors that can be offloaded at convenient receptor sites or easily pumped into their gas burning cars and tractors. Probably a policy for bean production would help, too.

  36. Robert W Turner says:

    No one should get too excited about this yet. There are certainly no guarantees that any of these shales would prove economical and you definately can’t expect a government organization to accurately predict estimated recoveries. At least it’s a sign they are abandoning ludacris policies.

  37. DirkH says:

    Robert W Turner says:
    June 6, 2014 at 11:05 am
    “No one should get too excited about this yet. There are certainly no guarantees that any of these shales would prove economical ”

    Robert, gas prices in the EU are about 5 times the prices in the US, so that will not be a problem at all. EU commission can still regulate it to death, of course. They’re good at that.

  38. SandyInLimousin says:

    Hollande still says no fracking in France.

  39. DGP says:

    Remember who runs Barter Town? It was the guy who control the gas!

  40. Rhoda R says:

    SandyInLimousin: France doesn’t need fracking, they have nuclear.

  41. EW3 says:

    M Simon says:
    June 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    President Insanity will do what he can to end fracking in the US.

    Expect the EPA to go after fracking by claiming it’s hazardous to ground water.
    They are also likely to start regulating the use of the chemicals used in fracking.

  42. MarkG says:

    “The contribution of manufacturing to GDP is roughly twice higher in Germany than in the US or the UK – that wouldn’t be the case without broadly sustained investment at home.”

    I thought it was because German banks spent much of the last decade lending money to Greeks (either directly, or by buying Greek debt) so they could buy Porsches?

    Vendor financing schemes tend not to work too well in the long run.

  43. DirkH says:

    MarkG says:
    June 6, 2014 at 8:47 pm
    “I thought it was because German banks spent much of the last decade lending money to Greeks (either directly, or by buying Greek debt) so they could buy Porsches?”

    Of course that helps the German industry. They are not invulnerable – Back in the late eighties, German Mittelstand Maschinenbau companies – which are the backbone of the car industry supply chain, and of the automation in the car factories – were seen as unprofitable yesterday’s heroes – they were suffering from the strong D-Mark.

    Germany solved that problem first by swallowing East Germany, and next, by swallowing the EU – currency-wise. Both times, the currency was weakened by transfer payments to the underdeveloped areas in the currency union.

    BTW China does the same thing with the USA. Their Yuan is pegged to the Dollar, so it is a de facto currency union.

    It seems this is the game you have to play when you want to develop your country under conditions of non-protectionism. You might end up printing a lot of paper currency, and devaluing it, but at least your industry is running red hot – which it currently is over here.

  44. Garfy says:

    http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/Hydraulic-Fracturing-Chemicals.pdf

    and in France it is not allowed, but TOTAL as an agreement and they are going to do it in Algéria
    !!!!!

  45. Garfy says:

    SandyInLimousin says:
    June 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Hollande still says no fracking in France.
    I Don’t trust him – wait and see what his prévious girlfriend segolène will do
    anyway, Fabius went to Algéria and Boutteflika is ready to accept francking and “Total”, on his soil – wait for the reaction of the people ??

  46. phlogiston says:

    It looks like Russian military adventurism in Ukraine is achieving in the fracking debate what no amount of reasoned technical argument would have achieved. Russia saves Europe from itself again – albeit unintentionally.

  47. Garfy says:

    to became a member of the european union was the ukrainian problem, so it is partly the fault of the european union –
    Now, we did not really want this europe – and we hope to get rid of it as soon as possible – we consider Jean Monnet and Schuman as traitors – and their followers as well.

  48. Mic Theory says:

    People who support fracking deserve to live in areas where fracking occurs and drink the water that fracking contaminates. They also deserve free fruit and vegetables from Monsanto and Chicken nuggets processed in China.

  49. dbstealey says:

    Mic Theory,

    What a mindless comment. People are living longer, healthier lives because of companies like Monsanto. And fracking harms no one. That is the basic reason why the econuts lost this battle.

    Only those who don’t give a damn about the world’s poor oppose fracking and fossil fuels. Those energy sources are far cheaper than alternatives like windmills, which could not even compete if not for immense subsidies.

    It is clear that the ‘green’ contingent is on the side of the 1%. Every action they take makes it more expensive for the average person, and for most things they have no skin in the game. It’s pretty despicable when a group does what it can to make life miserable for the world’s poor, no? That’s how I see it.

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