Most Netherlands MPs against drilling for gas on Schiermonnikoog island

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With the support of ruling party PvdA, a parliamentary majority is now against test drilling for gas on the Wadden Island of Schiermonnikoog, NOS reports.

The proposal parliament is rejecting comes from Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs. He wants to give gas company Engie E&P Nederland permission to do tress drillings and build a temporary platform just north of the island. These activities would take place in Natura 2000 area and the area to be built is also partly below this nature area.

This plan was met by protest, both from the residents of the island and in Dutch politics. But according to Kamp, the rules don't allow him to do otherwise.

"This is a bit of a hub-hub-tric story fro the Minister", PvdA parliamentarian Jan Vos said to broadcaster NOS. "We told the minister a year ago already that he should pay more attention to nature."

GroenLinks thinks that the test drilling won't be worth it. "What we are loooking for now is the last remnants of rubbish gas", parliamentarian Liesbeth van Tongeren said to the broadcaster. "You must definitely not risk the beautiful Wadden islands for that."

According to NOS, parliament already included the measure that permits may be refused if they are in nature areas in the Mining Act, but Kamp hasn't introduced that legislation yet. Kamp and the parliamentarians will debate about Schiermonnikoog next week.