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Despite earthquakes, Groningen residents open to gas mining to thwart Putin

NL TIMES

Despite earthquakes, Groningen residents open to gas mining to thwart Putin

A majority of Groningen residents expressed willingness to open the gas tap further in order to lessen dependence on Russian gas, Dagblad van het Noorden reports from results of a survey by Enigma Research among residents of the province this week. People who live in areas that experience earthquakes from gas extraction are even more willing than those who live outside the earthquake zone.

No less than 83 percent of those polled thought the Netherlands should stop importing Russian gas. More than six in 10 Groningen residents support further gas mining in their province, up to a maximum of 12 billion cubic meters per year.

The State Supervision of Mines (SodM) has always said that gas extraction can be relatively safe up to that maximum if all houses in Groningen are reinforced. However, SodM announced in February that it wanted to halt gas extraction in Groningen.

“From my perspective on the safety of the people in Groningen, raising gas production now is really a bad idea,” said Theodor Kockelkoren, inspector-general with the State Supervision of Mines (SodM), at the time.

Nine out of 10 respondents want the gas revenues to benefit Groningen if the tap is opened further. Revenue could be used to fill a fund used to finance the repair of earthquake damage, for example.

The survey was derived from a representative sample of 1,000 Groningen residents, which was taken from a total number of 3,000 respondents, according to the newspaper. All respondents were 20 years old and older.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times.

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