PvdA Will Vote against Shale Gas Drilling
THE HAGUE, Friday - Labour (PvdA) will vote in the Lower House against trial drilling for shale gas. The party is thereby making a U-turn.
The party congress in Leeuwarden on Saturday adopted a motion stating that the PvdA could not vote for trial drilling for the gas. The party in the Lowe House is now acceding to this, said its leader Diederik Samsom Wednesday evening at a 1 May party meeting in Arnhem. Samsom did say that if the extraction of the gas could be clean and safe, the matter would be presented afresh to the members.
A week ago, the PvdA had announced it did want to vote for drilling for shale gas, providing that it could be clean and safe. It appears that Samsom is now giving up on the shale question in exchange for the question of illegal immigrants.
The cabinet of conservatives (VVD) and PvdA agreed under the coalition accord that illegal residence in the Netherlands would become a crime. On Saturday, a large majority at the PvdA congress voted for a motion to withdraw this plan. Samsom announced that he will not do so and has since come under fire in his own circles.
By going back on the shale gas position, Samsom is offering the PvdA members an opening to hit him less hard on making illegality an offence, political insiders believe. Nonetheless, the VVD will not be happy with Samsom’s new shale gas opposition.
VVD is a strong supporter of shale gas extraction. A UK company already has three locations in mind for carrying out trial drillings when this is permitted. They are in the Noordoostpolder, near Boxtel and near Haaren.
The economic affairs ministry is investigating the effects of drilling for shale gas. Only after this will the cabinet make a decision about its extraction. The results of the research are expected in July.