The Provincial Council of Groningen want the new cabinet to reverse its intention to extract extra gas. This is apparent from a motion submitted on Wednesday that could count on great support in an emergency debate of the States factions; 40 of the 42 state members voted in favor. If the government does not reverse the decision on additional gas extraction, the province wants the proceeds to go to the people of Groningen in the earthquake area. The Provincial Council also demand that there be a legal end date on which the gas tap of the Groningerveld will be closed permanently.
The province wants the cabinet to do everything it can to convince Germany, which has a high demand for Dutch gas, to obtain gas in other ways. In addition, the Provincial Council is calling on the cabinet to ensure that the construction of a nitrogen factory in Zuidbroek, Groningen, which is intended to make foreign gas suitable for domestic use, proceeds faster.
The Groningen city council also approved a motion against the cabinet’s extra gas extraction plans on Wednesday evening. The council unanimously called the plans “unacceptable”.
The emergency debates followed the announcement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs that twice as much gas from Groningen will probably be needed this year as expected. According to the then outgoing minister Stef Blok (Economic Affairs, VVD), this is because the nitrogen plant that is to replace the Groningerveld is ready later than planned. The demand for Dutch gas from Germany is also higher than expected.