The parliamentary standing committee of Economic Affairs and Climate in the House of Representatives wants a hearing with the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) about statements by director Johan Atema about the housing improvement operation in Groningen before the summer. This is reported by broadcaster RTV Oost and it Newspaper of the North Wednesday. It is not yet known when the first hearing will take place.
Atema was heavily criticized after coming in last week NRC had said that only fifty Groningen homes need to be strengthened due to the danger of quakes, instead of the 26,000 houses previously thought. The reinforcement operation would be “no longer necessary”, because the chance of severe tremors has decreased significantly and the area is therefore safe enough. That would save NAM a lot of money: strengthening all 26,000 is a multi-billion dollar operation. Until now, about half of those houses have been individually inspected and 2,000 houses have actually been reinforced.
PvdA MP and member of the Economic Affairs and Climate Committee Henk Nijboer says he wants clarity about how NAM sees the home improvement operation. He also wants to interview NAM shareholders Shell and Exxonmobil. “The NAM agenda is completely clear to me: spend as little money as possible on Groningen,” said Nijboer. “I want them to make it clear to the House, to the country, how they stand here.”
Against RTV Oost and Newspaper of the North Atema said it was’ a pity ‘to find’ unrest about the interview NRC”. He also said that the number of fifty houses to be strengthened should not have been mentioned. “This has created the impression that NAM does not want to honor existing agreements. That is not the case ”, says Atema. “NAM pays, by agreement, all costs for reinforcement and damage resulting from gas extraction.”