Plans are in place to strictly regulate the gas extraction method of fracking next year. This was revealed in the German Federal Government’s recent response (18/2984) to a minor interpellation launched by the German parliamentary group Alliance’90/The Greens (18/2829). According to the response, a regulation should be adopted by the German Federal Cabinet by the end of the year and then approved by the German Federal Parliament and Federal Council of Germany in the first half of 2015. According to the German Federal Government, the regulation will mainly focus on protecting health and the environment and will be based on a current set of guidelines produced by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMBWi) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

A ban on fracking in Germany would lead to a number of competitive disadvantages for PVC production activities, as was proven by Hans-Christian Porth from VESTOLIT in his presentation on „PVC in Europe“ at the „PVC and the Environment“ workshop in June. In fact, the field of PVC production in Europe is now already suffering from a cost disadvantage (raw materials + energy) of 150 to 200 US dollars per ton in comparison with the USA, where fracking technology is used intensively and resulting in a boom in the chemical industry.

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