Opposition again moves to ban fracking

Slovenija, Ljubljana, 10.02.2021, 10. februar 2021 DZ RS,  vložen predlog, konstruktivna nezaupnica vladi, predsednik DeSUS Karel Erjavec, kandidat za predsednika vlade, parlament, poslanci, opozicija, koalicija, preštevanje, glasovi, politične igre, politika, KUL Foto: Žiga Živulovič jr./BOBO

Ljubljana – The opposition Left, Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), and the Social Democrats (SD) filed on Thursday a legislative motion that would ban hydraulic fracking in Slovenia in what is the fourth attempt at trying to prevent drilling plans of the British company Ascent Resources in Petišovci (NE).

“The reason for another filing of changes to the mining act is the government’s actions so far, which openly support dirty capital, and now the government wants to disguise its support with make-believe gestures that are to protect the environment,” the parties said.

They pointed to the government-sponsored changes to the mining act, arguing the changes would ban only wide-scale hydraulic fracking and create a distinction between the fracking that endangers water sources and the one that does not.

Although the government was expected to endorse the changes at today’s session, this did not happen.

According to Nataša Sukič from the Left, there is no such thing as safe fracking. “Nobody can guarantee that something will not go wrong deep down in the hole, which will then lead to leakage of toxins, pollution of the underground water and endangering of people’s health. That’s why fracking must be banned altogether.”

The Left believes the government tried to camouflage the easing of restrictions as care for the environment in the changes to the waters act.

“But the result of the referendum on the waters act shows how underestimating these attempts are. The government should thus not think the people of Petišovci, Prekmurje and Slovenia are naive,” the party said.

The latest attempt at banning fracking sponsored by the three opposition parties and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) was voted down in parliament in mid-December 2020.

Ascent Resources has been striving for a while to get a permit for the extraction of gas by means of hydraulic fracturing in Petišovci and has also announced it will initiate arbitration proceedings against Slovenia over a dispute about the matter.