EQUO, the Spanish Green Party, have welcomed the decision by the regional government of Andalucía to call a halt to fracking in the Doñana Natural Park. The Andalucían government made the decision due to doubts about the environmental impact of the fracking process. This is the second time that a regional government has banned fracking, despite the Spanish federal government’s support for the process. Cantabria, a shale-gas rich region in northern Spain, banned fracking in April. This followed a decision by the federal government, to open up Spain to fracking. According to them, it is a cheap source of fuel that creates jobs.
EQUO supported a proposal to the government calling for the banning of fracking across Spain. However, this fell on deaf ears and the government passed the pro-fracking legislation in March. But, successes in banning fracking at a regional level means there is still hope. EQUO have firmly backed the regional governments for taking the initiative to ban the process.
EQUO say promoting renewable energy instead of fracking could have a very positive effect on the economy. The federal government claim that shale gas is low-cost, and that the fracking process will create jobs. But, EQUO point out that the low cost of the fuel masks the long-term economic impact (in terms of environmental impact and health-care costs) caused by the damage as a result of with fracking.
They also dispute the government’s claim that fracking will lead to job creation. In the US, experience shows that on average, each well only generates less than 5 jobs, and only has a lifespan of between 5 and 7 years.
On the other hand, a commitment to renewable energy would create 2.7 million jobs across the country, far more than fracking. In Spain, where unemployment is a serious problem, serious investment in renewals would have a huge impact on the country.
”We must embrace the future and move towards a 100% renewable energy model, and not endanger our health and the environment,” says EQUO federal co-spokesperson, Juan Lopez de Uralde. "This technique is very high risk, with few benefits for the people."