Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck does not believe in natural gas production in Germany through so-called fracking. He therefore rejected an advance by the FDP.

“The debate about fracking is of no use to us at all at this time. It takes years, if you want to do it at all, to open up such deposits,” he said in Flensburg on Sunday.

Fracking uses pressure and chemicals to extract gas or oil from rock layers, which poses environmental hazards. Criticism is also leveled at liquefaction through strong cooling because, according to environmentalists, this costs up to 25 percent of the energy content of the gas.

The “bridge made of gas” to the world of renewable energies is getting shorter every day, said Habeck. The deposits that could be fracked have not even been tested yet. “There’s no interest in doing that,” Habeck said.

In this respect, it is a debate that leads to a division in society. “We have a clear task: reduce the amount of energy that we consume, at all levels.” In addition, the expansion of renewable energies must be accelerated.

In view of the lower Russian gas deliveries, Habeck had announced additional measures to save gas and increase precautions. With regard to the further sharp rise in energy prices, he announced that the federal government would “soon to answer”. “High inflation, driven by fossil fuels, is weighing heavily on the country.”

“We have various options for cushioning these prices,” said Habeck. “But the question of justice naturally arises immediately and will certainly have to be discussed further: How do we keep the companies on the market? What support do we have to give and how do we support households that of course depend on their apartment or house being warm during the heating period, but perhaps cannot easily pay the high prices? We will soon provide answers to that.”

The coalition had so far decided on two relief packages. These include the tank discount and the 9-euro ticket in local and regional transport. Above all, the SPD and the Greens are pushing for further relief.

In view of the energy crisis, the FDP wants to put the ban on natural gas production in Germany through so-called fracking to the test. “As scientific studies show, fracking does not cause any relevant environmental damage under modern safety standards,” Torsten Herbst, parliamentary director of the FDP, told the “Welt am Sonntag”.

Anyone who imports fracking gas from the USA cannot be against safe fracking funding in Germany. “It should therefore be seriously examined whether larger shale gas production is economically and technically feasible in Germany,” he said.