Dutch gov't 'overwhelmed' by decision to halt Groningen gas extraction, Minister says

The members of the Rutte III government were all "overwhelmed" by the decision of Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate to stop gas extraction in Groningen, he said on television program Zomergasten. In March the government decided to halt gas production in the earthquake ridden region by 2030 at the latest, ANP reports.

"I made a radical proposal. The members of the cabinet were all overwhelmed", Wiebes said. But after "long deliberation" all cabinet members decided to support the decision.

Wiebes said that he started thinking about further reducing gas production in Groningen in November last year. He was dissatisfied with the reinforcement operation in the province, which too often amounted to buildings being demolished.

According to him, the decision to stop gas extraction in Groningen is an irreversible decision. He repeated that all damages that was caused by gas extraction will be reimbursed. "Forever", he said. 


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