Vice PM Dragnea: We should take pragmatic, courageous stand on shale gas

Romanian Vice Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea says Romania should have a pragmatic and courageous stand on the exploration for and drilling of shale gas and underscores the locals have to be protected in the event that the drilling had negative effects on the environment, but he insists the citizens should, at the same time, be protected against poverty.

‘The first thing that should interest us all is the population’s protection against any kind of risks, but we must seriously and very openly think of protecting the population against poverty’, the senior official said on Sunday in the eastern Vaslui, located in the area where shale gas drilling is planned.

Dragnea stressed that such an investment could bring ‘explosive’ development to Vaslui county.

‘I know such exploration was made in the USA and all I saw there was that the gas price dropped very much and this means the industry has strongly developed. The population paid less and the American economy was very much helped by the shale gas use. Why couldn’t we try too, after all? The population’s opinion also counts, but we must very carefully look at how much the population is advised and informed and most of all how correctly and honestly they are informed. Let us in all sincerity see who is trying to inform or misinform the population one way or another,’ Dragnea said, adding: ‘It is very simple, we can remain with the shale gas underground, but with the same lack of money on surface. Jobs cannot come out of thin air’.

Protests have been mounting in Vaslui county over the last year against exploring and drilling for shale gas by the hydraulic-fracture method. Part of the local lawmakers have publicly taken a position against the non-conventional gas drilling measures and called for a referendum on this matter to be held.

Chevron company obtained a licence from Vaslui County Council to explore on three sites in the county

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