The draft law on fracking currently being considered in Germany is the result of a protracted search for compromise. It provides little clarity, it is complicated and inconsistent. In fact, it’s a good example of a bad law.
The fact that some advocates of fracking can find positive aspects in the legal paper simply demonstrates the frustration levels in the business community.
No one in Germany wants to engage in exhaustive fracking, based on the U.S. model. Anyone who has seen pictures of fracking areas in the United States is immediately grateful for Germany’s high environmental standards. And not even the exploration companies want to question these standards.
But this law could make sure that fracking in shale and coal seams will remain an issue of secondary importance in Germany for years to come.
According to the draft, fracking will be forbidden – categorically and indefinitely – above 3,000 meters, which is the only place it could be interesting in Germany.
Exceptions can be made for experimental activities, which, if approved by a commission of experts, could then lead to approval for commercial fracking.