This committee concluded, among other things, that the interests of the people of Groningen have been ignored for years and subordinated to the revenues from gas extraction.
The explanation for what could go so wrong is simple, the committee stated: “The extraction of natural gas was so successful and lucrative for the State and the oil companies that there was hardly any attention for the long-term risks and the increasingly strong signals from the outside world. “
The committee therefore believes that now is the time for investments in the region. For this, both the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (and its shareholders Shell and Exxonmobil) and the State must come up with money, the committee believes.
But what these plans for the region will look like is not yet clear. That is why the Groningen delegation is already coming up with its own vision and plans, including about reinforcement and claims handling, even before the cabinet announces what it intends to do with the advice.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte did not want to give any substantive response to the committee’s findings on Friday. He also did not specify when that will happen.
The King’s Commissioner René Paas, the mayor of Groningen Koen Schuiling and the well-known VVD director Johan Remkes, chairman of the National Program Groningen, form the delegation.
Their action is in line with one of the most important recommendations of the committee of inquiry: that Groningen residents themselves should have a say in the measures that follow from the report. The committee stated that the people of Groningen have been talked about for too long and not enough with them.
A lot of misery could have been prevented, says committee chairman Van der Lee in this video: