Groningen gas proceeds must go toward strengthening Groningen homes: Two coalition parties
If extra gas has to be extracted in Groningen, the proceeds of that gas should not go towards the treasury but towards strengthening Groningen homes. Coalition parties CDA and ChristenUnie will propose this during a debate on gas extraction in parliament on Wednesday, NOS reports.
The Cabinet intended to phase gas extraction in Groningen out entirely due to fracking earthquakes in the area. But in January, outgoing Minister Stef Blok of Economic Affairs warned that more gas might need to be extracted this year. The Netherlands is contractually obliged to supply gas for German households, and Germany will be 1.1 billion cubic meters short this year.
The nitrogen factory that must convert foreign gas to the Dutch standard is also not ready yet. State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief of Mining expects the new nitrogen plant to be ready in August - four months later than planned.
The Cabinet is consulting with Berlin, hoping that the Germans will find other sources for their gas. But if extra extraction in Groningen proves unavoidable, the proceeds of the extracted gas must go to the people of Groningen, according to the two coalition parties. "So that we can accelerate the reinforcement operation and the damage settlement there," CDA MP Agnes Mulder said.
"The promise was less gas. So the new Cabinet is making a false start with the Groningen residents," said ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers. "What comes in extra has to go 1-on-1 extra to Groningen." According to Segers, this could potentially be a lot of money. Though both he and Mulder hope that it will prove a moot point because extra gas extraction will be unnecessary.