We have learnt this week that the UK is not the only place where anti-fracking protests are taking place. Channel 4 news had a major report on anti-fracking protests in Romania. Like in the UK the protesters have moved beyond the usual bearded sandle wearing types. Lots of little old ladies were in evidence as well as Orthodox priests. The Orthodox church has massive influence in Romania and seems to have decided that fracking is satanic.
The situation in Romania is similar, but in many ways worse than in the UK. Similar; in that unlike the US there are no mineral rights to what lies under you, but worse in that there is no compensation at all for communities affected. These communities are desperately poor and all they seem to have got from an oil major so far was yoghurts and T-shirts. They turn up to do seismic tests on farmers land without any warning (or permission). (Something at present is illegal here but our government seems keen to change). The seismic equipment they leave is being vandalised at night or they are driven off by anti-fracking protesters during the day. Whilst many of the claims about the health threats (skin peeling off) are exaggerated, this is part of the world where people will draw water from wells. Contamination of these water supplies must be a strong possibility.
Unlike in the UK though its nice to see the church taking a definite stand. It looks like the anti-fracking protests in Romania will continue.