Dutch government forcing fossil fuel down throats

Friesland people demonstrate against gas extraction by Vermilion corporation, ANP photo

This ANP photo shows people from Friesland province in the Netherlands demonstrating in the Hague against gas extraction by Vermilion corporation, with a Frisian flag and arguing against Minister Wiebes of of Economic Affairs and Climate, member of the right-wing VVD party.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Dutch [right-wing] government and the municipality of Smallingerland are facing each other in court today. The Frisian municipality has amended a zoning plan to prevent new gas extraction in the outlying area, but the government believes that Smallingerland is thereby going against national rules.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate

Minister: Wiebes, of the pro-Big Business VVD party

went to the Council of State to challenge the zoning plan. This is unique: never before has the government dragged a municipality before the highest administrative court in connection with gas extraction.

Renewable energy

Several small gas fields can be found in the Smallingerland municipality (56,000 inhabitants). That gas is already being extracted in a number of places, but now that the gas extraction in Groningen is being diminished,

because of the enormous earthquake damage by Shell and Exxon gas extraction there

such small fields are getting more and more into the spotlight.

The local council is afraid of subsidence

and maybe also earthquakes like in Groningen

and therefore does not want to give permission for preparatory research for the drilling of new wells. In addition, the municipality believes that more gas extraction is not necessary.

“We want to make the transition to sustainable energy. We need gas for that for the time being, but that is being produced sufficiently in the Netherlands. I cannot explain to my residents that we need to get rid of the gas, but that at the same time there is drilling for extra gas at new locations”, says GroenLinks party alderman Piet de Ruiter.


De Ruiter says that the decision of the municipality follows the line of the national government. “The national government coalition agreement states that there will be no new permits for gas extraction. In our opinion, we are acting neatly in line with government policy.” The fact that the government went to the Council of State came as a surprise to De Ruiter.

The multinational gas corporation which the national government helps against the Smallingerland people is Vermilion from Canada. Also in the Dutch Utrecht province and in North Brabant province there are protests against them.

See also here:

Smallingerland’s provisional zoning plan was available to the public for six weeks last year. Everyone, including the national government, could have objected then, but that did not happen.

Smallingerland is close to the beauty spot, national park De Alde Feanen.

When it comes to groundwater quality, fracking receives much of the public attention but misses most of the picture, according to hydrogeologists Jennifer McIntosh from the University of Arizona and Grant Ferguson from the University of Saskatchewan (USask). “There’s a critical need for long-term — years to decades — monitoring for potential contamination of drinking water resources not only from fracking, but also from conventional oil and gas production,” McIntosh said: here.

3 thoughts on “Dutch government forcing fossil fuel down throats

    • The national government had decided that there would be no more new gas extraction, and now they violate their own decision. The local decision was made public, and the government did not object then. It looks like the Dutch State is the property of Big Oil and Big Gas corporations. Including, in this case, Vermilion, against which there is a public prosecutor’s criminal investigation.


  1. Pingback: Big Oil gets billions of taxpayers’ money | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.