Czech Republic

Political situation

A law banning fracking was introduced to the upper chamber of the parliament by Petr Pakosta, formerly a conservative, now an independent MP. The law is being opposed mainly by the Ministry of the environment (headed by Tomas Chalupa, a conservative) that had introduced a 2 year moratorium till June 30 2014. In practice the moratorium allows for new drilling applications and for the industry to get ready and prepare the launch of drilling.

A second law banning fracking will be introduced to the lower chamber of the parliament by Michal Hasek, an influential socialist. A public hearing regarding the fracking petition is scheduled for October 2.

The only 2 parties against fracking are the Green party and Vychodocesi, a small regional party. There are several politicians across the political spectrum who are on our side, but no major party consensus is in sight. The current conservative mantra is: we need to explore, so that we know what the deposits are.

Shale Gas activities

No drilling so far, just 3 exploration areas plus 1 conventional:

  • Trutnovsko (formerly including Broumov and Nachod, but changed thanks to citizen resistance), Basgas Energia Czech (Hutton Energy) – initially seeking 777 km2, now approx. half – Application process restarted.
  • Meziříčí – Cuadrilla Morava (Cuadrilla Resources) – seeking 946 km2 – Application process restarted.
  • Berounsko – Basgas Energia Czech (Hutton Energy) – seeking 93 km2 – Application process interrupted.
  • Královéhradecko – South Oil – seeking 1341 km2 – Application process started – conventional oil and gas.

Mobilisation

  • Coalition Stop HF – coalition of individuals, municipalities, NGOs. Member organisations count some 450 000 people, but only a fraction can be considered as active. The coalition started a petition, signed by more than 30 000 people, pushed a project of the law and obtained a public hearing in the parliament
  • Movement of the mayors of the affected regions – spearheaded by the mayor of Nachod, who is now sidelined, because Nachod was taken out from exploration plans.
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Posted in Reports, Reports Europe

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