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Shale Gas Exploitation And Environmental Destruction In Romania

By Florentina Mihaila

22 October, 2013

I would like to start by pointing out that the whole story happens in a country maybe less known to you, but wich has been once an economic power, very rich, with people confident, hopeful and true patriots. The name of this country is Romania and is situated in South East Central Europe, boasting with neighbors like Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, and last but not the least, the Republic of Moldova.

The mass-media howl major global issues such as bloody conflicts in Egypt, the horrible attack with chemical weapons in Syria, Israeli-Syrian dispute, about global economic crisis. It is true and sad what is happening, but does the world problems stops here? All nations are related by the same desire, that of freedom.

My purpose is to make heard one of the recent overwhelming problems from my homeland, namely “Shale gases exploitation”. In those days there were organized protests and demonstrations in villages with such destinations, in order to try preventing these exploitations. Shale gas apparently, still has divided the country into two camps, the job seekers one(which anyway will be low paid), and one that wants to protect a healthy living environment, the latter being the majority according to polls. May seem trivial problem compared to what is happening in the countries mentioned above, therefor I must inevitably to emphasize that exactly 24 years ago, since the Revolution of 1989, then, young innocents have sacrificed their lives for this country to be a free country, but I hope their sacrifice was not in vain, as Romanian proverb says: "It's never too late", and maybe this article could be the way how those sacrifice voices will begin to make themselves heard.

Romania imports conventional natural gas mainly from Russia, has not yet exported natural gas and shale gases are unconventional, also not mentioned in the current Law of Petroleum.

Under the Constitution, Article 135:

(1) Romania is the market economy based on free enterprise and competition.

(2) The State shall ensure:

a) free trade, protection of fair competition, a favorable framework for the use of all factors of production;

b) the protection of national interests in economic, financial and foreign exchange;
d) natural resources, consistent with the national interest;

e) the restoration and protection of the environment and ecological balance;

f) creating the conditions for increased quality of life;

g) implementation of regional development policies in line with the European Union

It's true, natural resources appear in the Basic Law, which is above the Environment Law. Everything is perfectly constitutional, but has not been defined "national interest". The laws thus formulated, allows the corruption to be possible.

Under the legislation, the oil resources located in the basement of Romanian country belong exclusively to the Romanian state. It seems that inevitably, American success led our country to wonder whether may get rid of the dependence on Russian gas and holds on their precious resource, but we must not forget the impact that can have on the environment the extraction method of these shale gas (hydraulic fracturing), such as important "gas leak" in the environment and groundwater contamination with fluid fractionation. This method is already banned in countries such as France, Ireland, Bulgaria, and is violently opposed to England through extensive public protests.

Becoming a free country, is to sell your country piece by piece, without care about the voice of the people?

Communism is still in his home, has a different mask, mime democracy, and we are far from being a free and democratic country. No, people does not lead, people are led on wrong ways. There is not a national, sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

As now in vogue is the Facebook site, I collected some comments from people on the social networking site as sustaining of the protests triggered recently.

"The Romanian people reached on times heavier than the previous regime. Outrageous for these people who come in suffering because the government and mayors do not defend the rights of natural treasures and sell them to foreigners who just want to take advantage of the easy and least confident by the information. In what regime have come to get the Romanian riches foreign companies? "

"Viorel, are things signed by the time PDL (a political party that has recently been in charge) who now get to take effect ... for me at this time our lawmakers not represents the interests of Romania and the Romanians ...... "

"For the sake of work to give our riches for nothing!"

This problem appeared right after another important resource was sold. Our gold was sold to a Canadian company; there is about the much contested and discussed Rosia Montana project, which, if aroused your interest, may be the subject of a next article.

To have in the nearest future a happy planet , first of all we need to listen, support and respect as people inwardly a nation and only then we should start by accepting us, to try to understand and respect each other as nations , also to seek a common communication tool and ultimately to try to find solutions jointly.

If the games behind the scenes, selfishness and conflicts of interest will not cease, bloodshed will never stop, no matter how we want. The strength and determination of the people may win. And of course, if we look into history we can draw a conclusion: any radical change of regime, unfortunately will always need human sacrifices. We have to think at the future of this planet, of our children. There are other resources, wich just need be sought.

Everything starts from you ... as an individual.

Florentina Mihaila, a Romanian by birth now lives in London, by profession nurse, aiming to become freelance writer.


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