Last Saturday, Bulgarian and Romanian activists along with members of Frack Off braved the cold and staged a spectacular demonstration near the Romanian embassy in Kensington. With chemical suites, chants and street performers they protested against the proposed use of controversial ‘fracking’ to extract shale gas in Romania.
Currently Chevron has several licenses for shale exploration in Romania and plan to start drilling in the second half of this year. Besides Chevron, Hungary’s MOL and Canada’s East West Petroleum also have struck drilling agreements with Romania’s Mineral Resources Agency and are awaiting government approval. Of particular concern are the drilling plans for Dobrogea, an area located in southern Romania which is also the agricultural heartland of Bulgaria and Romania.
This demonstration came on the heels of a massive day of action which saw tens of thousands of people protesting in Bulgaria, London and various other cities around the world. Following this massive day of action, Bulgaria decided to ban the use of fracking for shale gas extraction.
Pavel Drumev who is a passionate opponent of fracking said, “People across Europe are waking up to the dangers of fracking after seeing the damage done in America. The Bulgarian ban is just the start. We hope that we will create momentum for a Europe-wide ban and full support for renewables instead.”
Fracking has caused earthquakes in Blackpool and a 4.0 earthquake in Ohio. 3 The EPAhas also confirmed that fracking is responsible for poisoning tap water in Wyoming. 4 In addition, a recent study by Cornell University has shown that fracking may release more greenhouse gases than the dirtiest fossil fuel coal.