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.

‘Biggest polluters are rich right-wing males’

This 29 July 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

There’s Literally Nowhere In The US Where You Can Escape Corporate Pollution

According to newly published scientific studies, the air quality and pollution levels in America’s national parks – some of them hundreds of miles away from any cities or factories – is almost as bad as it is in industrial areas. This means that pollution in this country is so widespread that there is nowhere you can escape from it. At the same time, our own EPA is trying to give away the farm and let corporations get away with even more pollution, putting us all in danger. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

According to Dutch daily Trouw today, the biggest polluters in the Netherlands are male; they vote for the right-wing pro-Big Business VVD party; and they are relatively highly educated.

Often, relatively highly educated people are also relatively rich (though that is not true for all individuals).

This Dutch NOS TV report on the research confirms that rich people pollute relatively more.

This is about pollution by individual consumers; not the bigger pollution by corporations in the Netherlands like Shell or Tata Steel.

Dutch right-wingers sabotage local pro-climate measures

This 2 June 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump Believes Climate Change Is A Hoax | All In | MSNBC

He’s said so over and over. And no matter how many times reporters ask, his administration won’t say otherwise.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:


A pro-Big Business party; the biggest party in the Dutch four party right-wing national government coalition.

quits local government coalition in Rijswijk because of climate measures

The VVD in Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland province, has quitted the coalition because of climate measures. Coalition partners GroenLinks and WIJ.Rijswijk want the plans to be adopted quickly in the local council, but the VVD thinks that is too fast.

According to the VVD, quiet and reflection are necessary. The party wants to wait for the national political decisions about the climate agreement …

Yeah right. And the VVD and other right-wingers at the national political level will say: ‘We should not do anything about the climate at the Dutch level. We should wait for the European Union to do something.’ And then, right-wingers in the European Union will say: ‘We should not do anything about the climate as European Union. We should wait for NATO to do something.’

And then, the most powerful politician in NATO, ‘the leader of the Free World’, United States President Donald Trump will say, as he says usually: ‘Climate change is a Chinese communist hoax.’ Which does not stop Mr Trump from protecting his golf course against rising sea levels caused by supposedly non-existent climate change.

“The VVD in Rijswijk is of the opinion that something has to be done on the climate issue, but in a responsible way … not anticipating national decisions.

The VVD has one alderman in Rijswijk, Jorke van der Pol. He will offers his resignation in the local council tomorrow night. The coalition now consists of GroenLinks, Wij.Rijswijk and D66. These parties do not have a majority in the Rijswijk city council.

Dutch CDA party sabotage of climate measures: here.

Dutch mayor resigns from right-wing party

Mayor Bijl of Purmerend, the Netherlands, ANP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 4 January 2019:

Mayor Don Bijl of Purmerend has ended his membership of the VVD party after almost 50 years. In his letter of cancellation he writes that he does not like the policies of the VVD. “A vision of society is now almost entirely absent”, says the 66-year-old Bijl, both with the current government and with Prime Minister Rutte.

The VVD, according to him, changed from a liberal party that also used to pay attention to vulnerable people to a


party that stands for “pragmatism, marketisation and individualization”, and he no longer feels at home.

Saint Nicholas and problem neighbourhoods

Under the influence of this thinking, big corporations can grow unhinderedly, according to Bijl. He also thinks that politics, led by VVD ministers, “drifts away from its strength, which is connection with society”.

The mayor is also critical of proposals by

VVD parliamentary caucus leader

Klaas Dijkhoff, who suggested, among other things, to punish crimes in problem neighbourhoods

where many poor and/or immigrant people live

more harshly

than crimes in rich neighbourhoods

and to restrict the right of demonstration in the time before the Saint Nicholas holiday.

Demonstrators consider ‘Zwarte Piet‘ (Black Pete), the blackface servant of Saint Nicholas, to be racist and originating from 19th century slavery in the Dutch colonial empire.

At the end of November, mayor Marco Out of Assen canceled his VVD membership. He too has major problems with Dijkhoff’s proposals, and also with the [harsh] asylum seekers policy of the VVD.

Even Dutch right-wingers against Big Oil earthquakes

This 23 November 2016 Dutch Drenthe province regional TV video says about itself (translated):

Unrest among residents of Vries village because of natural gas extraction

VRIES- “We are afraid of Groningen scenes“, says a Vries resident. He is worried now that the NAM oil and gas company

The NAM, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, Dutch Oil Corporation, is a joint venture between the Shell and Exxon oil and gas corporations. Their gas extraction in Groningen province causes earthquakes, causing much material and health damage.

has announced that it will extract natural gas through a new well in an area that lies north of Assen.

This concern is shared by Armand Jennekens of the D66 party in Tynaarlo.

The local authority including Vries.

He fears a soil subsidence of 20 centimeters. “We are now emptying the gas field with the result that the total pressure will stop.”

Gas field Vries-Zuid

Natural gas has been extracted in the Vries-South gas field since the 1970s. A new well was drilled a year and a half ago to get the last 10 percent out of the field. That natural gas area runs from north Assen to Donderen. In the forty years that natural gas has already been extracted, the soil below Vries was lowered by 8 centimeters. …


At the fishmonger’s in Vries, gas extraction is the talk of the day. Residents are afraid of Groningen scenes. “I feel that gas is being extracted at all costs. We have to revolt.” And: “I think it really scares me by now.”


Armand Jennekens of D66 in Tynaarlo, together with the D66 faction of the House of Representatives, wants to stop gas extraction. Tynaarlo municipality is also protesting.

D66, a usually pro Big Business party (though not as anti-environment as the VVD), after that video was made, joined a four party right-wing government coalition, with just a one seat majority in the Dutch parliament.

The VVD is the biggest party in the coalition. They are a pro Big Business party, with close links to Shell and other fossil fuel corporations. So, I am not sure that at the national level D66 will now oppose the Vries gas extraction, because of the coalition.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today, about Drenthe province:

Drenthe VVD politicians angry about gas extraction

VVD members in Drenthe are protesting against the recent gas extraction decision by Minister Wiebes. The minister, himself a member of the VVD, recently determined that the NAM can drill gas in small fields in North and Central Drenthe, among other places.

In an open letter to Wiebes and to the VVD in the House of Representatives, all twelve VVD municipal council caucuses in Drenthe demand that the decision be reconsidered. The council members emphasize that there is a lot of unrest among the residents. According to the letter writers, the residents will get a fair chance of earthquakes and thus of damage to their homes.

If the extraction would still have to continue, then the letter writers want the same damage protocol as in Groningen.

Many people in Groningen say the damage protocol is not enough.

A similar NAM gas extraction issue is near Monster town in South Holland province.

Bommelerwaard against Vermilion Energy gas extraction: here.

Dutch mayor resigns from right-wing government party

Mayor Marco Out of Assen

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Mayor of Assen resigns from VVD

Assen in the capital of Drenthe province. The pro-Big Business VVD party is the biggest party in the present four-party right-wing government coalition; which has a majority of just one MP in parliament.

Mayor Marco Out of Assen has canceled his VVD membership. He can no longer find himself in the direction of the VVD, he writes in a comprehensive statement on Facebook.

The mayor of the capital of Drenthe says that he, eg, opposes the plan of parliamentary caucus chairman Dijkhoff, to punish people in problem areas more harshly than people in other neighbourhoods. “It completely goes against my sense of justice when a district plan is launched, which suggests that for residents of problem neighborhoods stricter penalties should be applied.”

Out also was appalled by a plan of a VVD MP to abolish the right of the government to pardon asylum seekers who had lost court cases. Recently, the government pardoned the refugee children Lili and Howick, after KLM airline had refused to deport them, saving them from deportation.

Finally, according to Out, came the straw that broke the camel’s back: a proposal by parliamentary caucus chairman Dijkhoff to ban demonstrations against the blackface character Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Zwarte Piet, according to the protesters, is a racist blot on the Saint Nicholas 5 December holiday.

Out had been a VVD member for over 25 years.

Dutch government party Trump-like anti-journalism on financial scandal

This 26 April 2017 Dutch TV video is about the cooperative undertakers’ organisation financial scandal of VVD party president Henry Keizer.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Refusal of journalists by VVD ‘is a shame for the Netherlands’

Today, 12:37

The Dutch VVD is the biggest party in the present two-party government coalition. It is a pro-Big Business party, quite often plagued by corruption scandals.

The recent general election meant that the VVD lost eight MPs, and the VVD-PvdA coalition lost their majority.

At present, the VVD is negotiating with three other parties to form a new coalition government.

This week, Dutch site Follow the Money published on the iffy financial affairs of VVD chairman Keizer.

Mr Henry Keizer was accused of buying a financially strong cooperative undertakers’ organisation for far too little money, pocketing the cooperative society members’ 12 million euros himself. Other prominent VVD politicians are said to have helped Keizer in this.

Today, Keizer had a press conference. However, the Follow the Money journalist was stopped at the door. So was PowNed TV; a right-wing broadcaster, usually pro-VVD; but they had quoted Follow the Money.

It looks like Keizer sees United States President Donald Trump as his example in stopping unwelcome journalists.

From the NOS report (translated):

The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) calls the action ‘unworthy of the VVD’. “This is scandalous,” said Rosa García López of the association. “This should not be possible, this should not be allowed. It is incomprehensible that they do this.” According to the NVJ, the refusal does not work to the benefit of the VVD. “In the end, they only harm themselves.” …

Today, it became known that the Netherlands is ranked second in the worldwide Press Freedom Monitor. “But this is very at odds with that second position,” says García López of the NVJ.

USA: According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, 60 percent of those who voted for Trump view the media as their “enemy”.

It is perhaps appropriate that July 4, 2017, Independence Day, should coincide with yet another degrading spectacle exposing the far-reaching rot of American democracy. The past several days have seen a marked escalation of Trump’s conflict with the US media, pitting the fascistic and authoritarian president against a thoroughly corrupt and compromised establishment press: here.

JAKE TAPPER WENT ALL IN ON A BLISTERING REPORT ON TRUMP’S USE OF THE PHRASE ‘FAKE NEWS’ “Almost every single time he’s used that term, the news has been accurate,” Tapper said Monday on CNN during the segment. “It’s just been news he doesn’t like.” [HuffPost]

Trump’s Attorney General Sessions announces crackdown on leakers, threatens reporters: here.

Neelie Kroes’ Bahamas scandal, protest songs

This is a Dutch music video about a protest song in 1984. It is the Neelie [Smit] Kroes Blues by a brass band from Hoorn.

Dutch European Union politician cum corporate capitalist Ms Neelie Kroes has  management jobs at Über multinational taxi corporation and Bank of America, after she had claimed she would not get any ‘revolving door‘ job after her term as European Commission member would finish.

Ms Kroes is a member of the pro-Big Business VVD political party. Before she was in the European Commission, she had been in parliament, in the Dutch government, etc.

Already long before Ms Kroes’ present Bahamas offshore money scandal, there were protest songs against her. That 1984 protest was against her plans to drain part of the IJsselmeer lake (recently, a better plan was started to make that area a nature reserve, attractive for tufted ducks, mergansers, goldeneyes and other wintering birds).

Here is the audio of another protest song about Ms Kroes, also called the Neelie Smit Kroes Blues. Its lyrics say that Ms Kroes, ‘that ‘darling’ of the VVD party’ should get out of politics. Well, if she leaves politics, but though her ‘revolving door‘ with Big Business is still politically powerful, then …

The European Commission said there was “scope” to slap sanctions on its former competition policy chief Neelie Kroes, embroiled in the Bahamas Leaks scandal, after taking five days to react to an e-mail where she confessed having transgressed the rules: here.

European Union bigwig Neelie Kroes’ Bahamas money scandal

This video says about itself:

Former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes fails to declare directorship of offshore firm

21 September 2016

A fresh leak of tax haven data has named former European commissioner Neelie Kroes as having failed to declare her directorship of an offshore firm in the Bahamas while in office.

The information is contained in [a] list of directors and shareholders at 176,000 companies and trusts given to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists“.

Read more here. And here.

Dutch European Union politician cum corporate capitalist Ms Neelie Kroes has  management jobs at Über multinational taxi corporation and Bank of America, after she had claimed she would not get any ‘revolving door‘ job after her term as European Commission member would finish.

Ms Kroes is a member of the pro-Big Business VVD political party. Before she was in the European Commission, she had been in parliament, in the Dutch government, etc.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Juncker, President of the European Commission, wants Neelie Kroes to explain as soon as possible about her management job at a company in the Bahamas. She held that post between 2000 and 2009. During that time she was also European Commissioner of Competition. According to the European Union code of conduct she should have notified her board position to the European Commission, but she never did.

According to a European Commission spokesman, it is important that the rules are respected. “We have very strict rules and must be confident that they are respected. We do not have a secret service which can go to the Bahamas to find out. We must rely on the honesty of the commissioners when they are appointed.”

If indeed rules have been violated by Kroes, the European Commission may go to the European Court. Once previously a Commissioner who violated the rules has been convicted. The Frenchwoman Edith Cresson appointed her dentist as her assistant. The Court convicted her, but imposed no penalty. …

The European Ombudsman says that the rules for Commissioners should be tightened, but the European Commission does not agree with that. …

“We had first former president Barroso who moved to the Goldman Sachs bank and now Neelie Kroes. The European Commission will have to make the Code and compliance with it stricter. It should be clear that the business corporations do not write the laws,” said [Paul] Tang.

Paul Tang is a member of the European Parliament for the Dutch PvdA. Officially, the PvdA is a ‘Labour’ party, but strongly infected by Blairism. While Mr Tang’s fellow PvdA politician Jeroen Dijsselbloem is Dutch Minister of Finance, it has turned out that Big Banking in the Netherlands largely makes the rules on banking; and that Shell and Exxon largely make the rules on oil and gas production and the homes and monuments destroying earthquakes which may be its consequences.

[Dutch political party] GroenLinks

Officially environmentalist and leftist. However, infected by neoliberal and ‘humanitarian war’ ideology to support the civilians destroying and environment destroying neocolonial war in Afghanistan.

will first wait for the investigation that the European Commission will launch now. “If Ms. Kroes has violated the rules then there are sufficient sanctions in these rules”, said a spokesperson. “People can be fined, her pension can be stopped and when she will visit the European Parliament, she might be made to do so as an ordinary citizen, with the [security] controls which that implies.”

This GroenLinks spokesperson may be over-optimistic. The precedent is Commissioner Edith Cresson. Though convicted, Ms Cresson did not get any of the three punishments mentioned by GroenLinks.

And how about a jail term for Ms Kroes’ violations of the rules? If Ms Kroes would have been a poor woman, breaking unemployment benefit rules with far less money involved than in Commissioner Kroes’ case now, then right-wing politicians, including Blairites like Valls in France and Dijsselbloem in the Netherlands, might scream all over the corporate media about jailing poor Ms Kroes. However, now that she is not poor Ms Kroes but rich Ms Kroes, you don’t hear anyone in the media advocating jail for wealthy ex-European Commissioners. Are they ‘too big to jail‘, like fraudulent bankers, or polluting British Petroleum fat cats?

Let us suppose that Ms Kroes will get the three penalties named by GroenLinks. Will she get a fine? How sure can we be that it will not be just a slap on the wrist, like in other cases where rich people are involved?

Will her pension stop? Then she will still have her Über and and Bank of America boss jobs and lots of other sources of income.

If she would like to visit the European Parliament, will Ms Kroes then have to subject herself to the same, sometimes considered humiliating, ‘security’ controls to which 99% of parliament visitors are subjected? She may not like that her privileged 1% treatment at the parliament entrance may be finished; but would it be such a big deal?

The Dutch Socialist Party‘s spokesman, MEP Dennis de Jong, is upset that Kroes has played down this affair so lightly. “A commissioner must record what she or he does. This case shows once again that the system is not working”, the SP leader in the European Parliament said.

EU ethics committee ‘should move fast’ on Barroso’s Goldman Sachs job: here.

European Union bigwig Neelie Kroes’ Bahamas tax-dodging

This is a video about a journalist questioning Dutch European Union politician cum corporate capitalist Ms Neelie Kroes, about her management job at Über taxi corporation, after she had claimed she would not get any ‘revolving door‘ job after her term as European Commission member would finish.

Ms Kroes is a member of the pro-Big Business VVD political party. Before she was in the European Commission, she had been in parliament, in the Dutch government, etc.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Bahamas Leaks

After the Panama Papers, documents have been leaked again to the journalists of the Süddeutsche Zeitung [in Germany]. This is about 1.3 million documents from the Chamber of Commerce of the Bahamas for the 1990-2016 period. They have been investigated by investigative reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative journalists (ICIJ). In the Netherlands, journalists of the Financieel Dagblad and Trouw dailies have studied the documents.

Bahamas Leaks: Neelie Kroes’ wrong management job

Today, 20:30

Neelie Kroes was during her time as [European Union] Commissioner of Competition also director of a company in the Bahamas. According to research by the Financieele Dagblad and Trouw.

More than a million documents from the Chamber of Commerce in the Bahamas have been leaked to an international group of investigative journalists. In the Netherlands, journalists from the FD and Trouw examined the documents.


The documents show that Kroes from 2000 to 2009 was director of a company in the Bahamas. According to the European Commission’s code of conduct that is prohibited and she should have reported it. She failed to do that.

To the FD Kroes admitted, through her lawyer Oscar Hammerstein, that she had formally violated the Code of Conduct for Commissioners.

The company Mint Holdings Ltd. was founded in 2000 by a number of Arab businessmen to buy shares of the US energy company Enron for six billion dollars. Kroes was asked to be co-director. The acquisition failed, but the holding remained. …

That Kroes did not report her management position in the Bahamas is remarkable according to data journalist Gaby de Groot of the FD. “When she was appointed to the European Commission in 2004, there was a lot of attention for her possible corporate links. Now it turns out there was such a case then.”

Kroes told the newspaper she would inform the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and “would accept the consequences.” What in this case are the consequences for a former European Commissioner is unclear. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung Kroes might potentially lose her pension.

How did Neelie Kroes join Mint Holdings?

One of the Arab businessmen who also was a director of Mint Holdings is Amin Badr El-Din. Kroes and Badr El-Din had known each other since 1994. In that year, Kroes tried on behalf of Dutch companies to sell six frigates to the United Arab Emirates.

Because of the interference by Kroes the warship deal failed, as later turned out in a reconstruction by NOVA TV show. Badr El-Din and Kroes, however, became friends. In 2000, Kroes, according to the FD, was asked to participate in Mint Holdings.

British Conservative minister Amber Rudd also in Bahamas Leaks scandal: here.

Jean-Claude Juncker blocked EU curbs on tax avoidance, cables show: here.