Rabobank opposes gas drilling trial

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Rabobank has taken the municipality of Boxtel to court in Den Bosch over a temporary permit it issued for a trial to drill for gas. The bank believes issuing any permit that could lead to drilling in the future is by definition not a temporary measure.

The bank wants the permit withdrawn. It has an important data centre in Boxtel and fears that electronic payments could be disrupted as a result of the drilling.

The company which is carrying out the drilling Cuadrilla believes that the drilling can continue as at the moment it is not certain whether there is gas in the ground and therefore a temporary permit is apporpriate. The company has promised the municipality that it would restore the countryside to its original state before the permit expires. The municipality sees the actual drilling for gas as a new activity which will require a new permit.

Local residents also oppose the trial drilling. They fear there may be unknown risks when drilling for gas. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen says drilling will not take place if the risks are unacceptable. On Wednesday, the Dutch parliament is holding a hearing on the effects of drilling.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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