HANNOVER/MUNICH (dpa-AFX) – The advice of Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) to examine the use of fracking gas in northern Germany was not met with approval by top politicians in Lower Saxony. “Is it still okay?!” Asked Söder’s Lower Saxony counterpart Stephan Weil (SPD) via Twitter. “Dear Markus Söder, how about wind power in Bavaria?” he added.

    Fracking, which is banned in Germany, uses pressure and chemicals to extract gas or oil from layers of rock, which poses a risk to the environment.

    In the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Söder had raised the question of using domestic gas reserves in view of the energy shortage as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. “Nobody wants yesterday’s fracking. But it makes sense to check whether there are new and environmentally friendly methods,” said the CSU boss. According to experts, there are large natural gas fields in Lower Saxony in particular,” he added.

    “Markus Söder makes himself the king of Nimbys,” said Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Olaf Lies (SPD). The acronym Nimby comes from the English phrase “not in my backyard”. It describes people who propose something but do not want to implement it themselves or on their own.

    A few days ago, Lower Saxony’s Economics Minister and CDU top candidate for the state elections on October 9, Bernd Althusmann, spoke out against fracking and referred to the current legal ban.

    The politicians also commented on the debate about the possible continued operation of nuclear power plants. According to a statement on Sunday, Lies called for an objective, fact-based discussion of the stretching operation of the nuclear power plants. Lies considers this variant, in which nuclear power plants are operated longer with fuel rods still available, to be conceivable for the still active Bavarian Isar II reactor. He doesn’t see it that way at the Lingen nuclear power plant in Lower Saxony, he recently told “NDR Info”. He spoke out against an extension of the term. Söder, who is in favor of such an extension, is reaping the fruits of his own “energy policy failures in recent years, and they taste bitter to him.”

    Lower Saxony’s Economics Minister advocated letting the three German nuclear power plants still connected to the grid run longer. In principle, the nuclear phase-out should not be questioned, he said. In view of the looming gas and electricity shortages, however, people expected pragmatic solutions to get through the winter safely. “In this respect, one must not rule out an option that is obvious,” said Althusmann. A stretching operation is absolutely necessary./xma/DP/he