An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, the German coalition government agreed to ban fracking for shale gas indefinitely. Reuters reports: "Test drilling will be allowed but only with the permission of the respective state government, officials said. German industry is keen to keep the door open to fracking -- which involves blasting chemicals and water into rocks to release trapped gas -- arguing it could help lower energy costs, but opposition is strong in the country, where a powerful green lobby has warned about possible risks to drinking water. If the law is approved by parliament, Germany will follow France, which has banned fracking, whereas Britain allows it subject to strict environmental and safety guidelines. The two parties agreed on Tuesday to an indefinite ban, but the compromise legislation calls for the German parliament to reassess whether the decision is still valid in 2021, said Thomas Oppermann, who heads the SPD's parliamentary group. CDU officials confirmed that a compromise had been reached. Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) criticized the proposal and said that by setting a date for a fresh look, the coalition had essentially agreed to allow fracking in five years." Last year, Bloomberg published an article making the case that the U.S. must consider the earthquake situation in Oklahoma a national security threat.
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