The majority of Danes support shale gas exploration in their country – The Copenhagen Post reported today. A survey conducted by Jyllands-Posten and the research firm Wilke showed that more than half of Danes supported exploiting shale gas in the future as an energy supply. A quarter of the respondents said no, while the remaining group answered ‘I don’t know’.
It is yet uncertain how much shale gas is present in Denmark. Last month, Frederikshavn Council in Jutland gave the French oil and gas company Total a permit to establish a well in nearby Dybvad, opening the way for shale gas extraction in the country. Total in conjunction with the state oil company, Nordsøfonden will attempt to determine if extracting Danish shale gas is economically viable.
The environmental spokesperson for the government coalition party Radikale Lone Loklindt believes that environmental considerations should be given high priority.
“It is my fundamental view that shale gas should be extracted only if it can be done without harming the environment and our drinking water,” Loklindt told Jyllands-Posten.
Lars Christian Lilleholt, the energy spokesperson for the opposition party Venstre, is excited about the prospect of Danish shale gas.
“If there is shale gas under Danish soil and it is possible to extract it without harming the surrounding environment, then we should do it,” he told Jyllands-Posten.
Several green organisations and Enhedslisten have claimed that support for shale gas is contrary to the government’s stated plans for a fossil-free Denmark by 2050.
Greenpeace expressed disappointment with the embracing of fracking.
“It shows that there has not been an adequate public debate on shale gas and the basic environmental problems,” said Greenpeace climate and energy expert Tarjei Haaland. “It is my opinion that when people really find out how it is done, their attitude will change.”
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