In what seems to be a rather desperate straw to clutch, shale antis have sometimes jumped on Bulgaria's shale "ban" as a spark that will enable other countries to see the error of their ways.
Pavel Drumev who is a passionate opponent of fracking said, “People across Europe are waking up to the dangers of fracking after seeing the damage done in America. The Bulgarian ban is just the start. We hope that we will create momentum for a Europe-wide ban and full support for renewables instead.”
Let's face it, France banning shale is impressive. But I don't think that we are yet so desperate that we conceive of Bulgaria as cutting edge in economic development. Meaning no disrespect, it just doesn't have that inspiring ring to it. This story from Bulgaria is enlightening.
Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, has suggested that the shale gas debate in Bulgaria will resume so that society can be presented with the absolute truth about the matter.
"This is a precious resource for achieving Bulgaria's energy independence and if we can use it safely, I do not see why not," the Energy Minister said in an interview for private TV station TV7 on Thursday.
He explained that a parliamentary commission was being set up to examine cutting-edge research by Bulgarian and foreign experts on economy, energy and environmental protection.
Traikov admitted that the energy sector involved an interplay of numerous interests.
"I shall not be pointing a finger at anyone, but let me say who is interested in all of this - it is the defenders of the status quo. There are just too many interests at play," the Energy Minister stated.
None of those interests of course could be even remotely connected to the main Bulgarian opposition, the former Communist Party. The interesting snippet here is this relating to a recent French/Bulgarian meeting. Anyone hoping for a Grand Alliance of France and Bulgaria against the evil frackers will be likely disappointed:
He went on to say that he had held talks with France's Energy and Industry Minister Eric Besson, who had implied that the shale gas debate would soon be renewed in the country.
France and Bulgaria are the only countries to have imposed a moratorium on shale gas exploration and production.
"It is hard to keep a the lid on a boiling pot," Traikov remarked, adding that the discussion on shale gas development in Bulgaria would resume soon.
There will be plenty of people out to keep stirring the pot, and Eric Besson could say that something was lost in the translation. Or perhaps Mr Traikov simply said something that was off the record. So this story shows that not only Bulgaria's opposition is set in stone, but neither, as I've been saying for months, is that of France.