Holland has quite the history when it comes to energy. Just like Norway, the country has huge gas reserves. Just like Norway, the country has a huge oil company, in their case Shell. But unlike Norway, and many other countries, Holland’s gas field (the biggest in Europe) lies directly near a city, Groningen, which has made extraction rather tricky.
The city of Groningen and some of its neighboring villages have experienced since the gas extraction started, minor tremors and earthquakes. In certain areas, houses started to show cracks in their walls and people saw the value of their real estate plummet.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is what true <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/climate?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#climate</a> leadership looks like! Netherlands to halt gas production at Groningen by 2030 <a href="https://t.co/nJ5452Ah8H">https://t.co/nJ5452Ah8H</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KeepItInTheGround?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KeepItInTheGround</a></p>— Stephen Kretzmann (@Kretzmann) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kretzmann/status/979389559397081088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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After a group of experts claimed that the tremors would only get worse, the Dutch government decided to fully end the natural gas extraction (a process similar to fracking) at the Groningen gas field.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained: "Our end station is zero. We choose security first and foremost."
Energy giants Shell and Esso are expected to try and fight the decision of the Dutch government to stop extraction by 2030.
Economy Minister Eric Wiebes stated afterward: "Until now we've been fighting the symptoms and not the cause."
Shutting down the gas field may prove tricky for the Dutch government though, as gas from the field is used by almost 90 percent of the country’s households. Furthermore, the contribution to GDP from selling the gas to neighboring countries is a major contributor to government coffers.