No decision on Terschelling gas drilling until next year
Minister Henk Kamp expects to reach a decision on natural gas drilling off the Terschelling coast by the middle of next year. The minister announced the update Wednesday as protesters demonstrated against drilling in The Hague. Fossil fuel firm Tuilp Oil applied earlier for a permit to extract the resource from under the North Sea, three to six kilometers from the shoreline. Minister Kamp said earlier he was going to assess the license application "slowly and carefully". Recently, the opposition to drilling in Terschelling has grown. Several hundred protesters attended a demonstration on Het Plein in The Hague against gas and oil extraction. They believe that drilling would damage the local environment, and that its economic benefits would be small. The city council is unanimously against gas extraction. Earlier on Thursday, PvdA member Jan Vos said his party was definitely opposed to drilling. Kamp said today at the demonstration that he wants to wait for the introduction of the new mining act before he finalizes any decision. The introduction of the law should help broaden the perspective of the ministry, Kamp said. The government is not yet able to make a clear picture of the impact on nature and landscapes, he argued.