Despite economic setbacks that threaten from the Brexit and United States president Donald Trump's trade wars, this is a logical time to give "something back" to the Dutch, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about the budget and the government's plans for next year, NU.nl reports.
A demonstration by action group Code Rood in Farmsum, Groningen, again came to a clash with the police on Wednesday evening. The police again used batons to keep activists away from the NAM facility's fence, something the police later said they regretted. According to the police, batons should not have been used, but they were due to a communication error, NOS reports.
The police and activists clashed during a protest against gas extraction in Farmsum, Groningen on Tuesday. The activists are blocking access to a NAM site in the town. Police kept them away from the fence with batons and pepper spray, RTL Nieuws reports.
Activists blocked access to NAM's Tankenpark in Farmsum, Groningen on Tuesday morning in a protest against gas extraction in the province. According to action group Code Rood, more than 700 people gathered at the gates. The group wants to block the entrance for several days, ANP reports.
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.
The Netherlands is not sufficiently prepared to deal with the consequences of a long-term gas shortage, according to a crisis plan from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate that EenVandaag got hold of by appealing to the freedom of information act.
The crisis plan describes possible steps the Netherlands can take if gas extraction in Groningen has to be halted sooner than planned, for example due to a massive earthquake, and if the country can't get enough gas from abroad to meet the demand. The plan dates from January 2018.
The Groningen city of Appingedam was hit by two earthquakes in two days time. The earthquakes happened on Wednesday and Thursday, and both registered 1.9 on the Richter scale, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
Multiple people reported feeling the quakes, Dagblad van het Noorden reports. Some also reported hearing a bang with Thursday's earthquake.
Over the past two weeks there were eight small earthquakes in the gas extraction area in Groningen:
A small earthquake, registering 2.0 on the Richter scale, hit the Drenthe village of Dalen on Tuesday morning. The quake happened at a depth of three kilometers, and was so light that many people did not even notice it, RTV Drenthe reports.
"Gas is extracted near Dalen. We also believe that the earthquake has to do with that", Laslo Evers, seismologist at meteorological institute KNMI, said to the broadcaster. There were previously gas extraction quakes near Dalen in 2000 and 2002.
The repair and reinforcement of homes that suffered serious damage as a result of gas extraction earthquakes in Groningen, needs to be speeded up, the state supervision on mines SoDM said in advice to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs, RTL Nieuws reports.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate reached an agreement with Shell and ExxonMobil about gas production in Groningen. The government and NAM will invest at least 1 billion euros into quality of life in the gas mining area.
On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
A private message sent to the police on Twitter landed 58-year-old Elze Schollema from Usquert in Groningen in jail for the night earlier this week. The police considered the message threatening, but according to Schollema, they misunderstood the tone, he said to Dagblad van het Noorden.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs thinks that gas extraction in Groningen could be reduced to below 12 billion cubic meters by 2020, he wrote in a letter to parliament. Though he added that he can not guarantee this as the effect of a number of planned measures is not yet certain, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Noord-Holland village of Warder, near Edam, was shaken by an earthquake around 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The quake measured 2.5 on the Richter scale and happened around 3 kilometers underground, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
The KNMI describes it as an "induced quake", which means that it was caused by gas extraction, according to RTL Nieuws.
"It is a fantastic party and I find Groningen a fantastic city", King Willem-Alexander said to NOS during the King's Day festivities in Groningen on Thursday. "Much thanks to Groningen, it is really a cool city", Queen Maxima added.
The Royal Family spent King Willem-Alexander's 51st birthday in Groningen. Thousands of people gathered in the city to see the Royals and enjoy the festivities Groningen arranged.
In its bookkeeping, Shell is reducing the value of its interest in NAM to zero in response to the Dutch government deciding to completely stop gas extraction in Groningen in the coming years, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch petroleum company NAM is responsible for gas extraction in Groningen. NAM is owned half by Shell and half by ExxonMobil. Depreciating its shares in NAM is costing Shell 244 million dollars, according to RTL.
Dutch petroleum company NAM wants Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs to adjust the proposals for the new Mining and Gas Act so that the company is less responsible for the consequences of gas extraction in Groningen, such as damage caused by earthquakes, Trouw reports.
Shell "should have been more assertive" in its warnings about climate change, Ben van Beurden, CEO of the Dutch oil and gas giant said in a podcast by Studio Energie. Environmental group Milieudefensie recently filed a lawsuit against Shell for the role it played in the climate problems the world currently faces.
Shell and Exxon wants the government to pay them billions of euros in compensation for the gas that will not be extracted from Groningen now that the government is gradually reducing gas production in the province to zero, NOS reports.
Environmental organization Milieudefensie is filing a lawsuit against Shell in an effort to force the Dutch oil and gas company to adjust its policy to prevent further damage to the climate, Milieudefensie announced in a press conference at Shell's former headquarters in Amsterdam, ANP reports.
Gas extraction in Groningen will gradually be reduced to zero, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in his weekly press conference on Thursday. He called it an "important decision". Shortly after the press conference, the government released a statement saying that gas extraction in the province will be reduced to less than 12 billion cubic meters per year by 2022, and then to 7.5 million cubic meters per year. "In the years after that gas extraction will be reduced to zero."
On Monday the claims desk specifically for handling damages caused by gas extraction in Groningen opened. The 30 employees of the claims desk is facing a major workload - around 12 thousand damage cases are waiting to be examined, because almost nothing has been done with them since March 31st last year, RTL Nieuws reports.
An independent committee will start by making an inventory and assessing the damage claims. The claims desk is part of a new damage protocol that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate presented on January 31st.
The province of Groningen was hit by another earthquake caused by gas extraction on Sunday afternoon. The quake had a magnitude of 2.2, according to meteorological institute KNMI. It's epicenter was in the town of Garrelsweer at a depth of 3 kilometers.
On Thursday a 2.0 magnitude earthquake could also be felt in the province. This one's epicenter was in Scharmer, near Loppersum.
An earthquake was felt in Groningen on Thursday afternoon. According to meteorological institute KNMI, the quake had a magnitude of 2.0 and it's epicenter was near Loppersum at a depth of 3 kilometers.
The quake happened around 4:30 p.m., according to broadcaster NOS. Dozens of people from Loppersum, Zeerijp and Garrelsweer reported feeling it. The KNMI called it an 'induced' earthquake, which means that it was caused by gas extraction.