Europe

Romania police clash with anti-fracking protesters

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Romanian police have clashed with protesters at a gas exploration site where demonstrators gathered to protest shale gas extraction in their village.

The scuffle broke out on Wednesday when hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the village of Pungesti, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of the capital Bucharest.

They blocked a road and made a human chain in a field where energy giant Chevron plans to start drilling. However, the police intervened and cleared the area.

A similar protest was held in Bucharest, where hundreds marched to the headquarters of the public TV station, banging drums and blowing whistles to protest against shale gas extraction.

They also criticized a Canadian firm’s plan to mine gold in the country’s northwest by using cyanide in its extraction process.

Local environmentalists have expressed concern over the use of hydraulic fracturing technique, commonly known as fracking, in gas and oil exploration.

The technique involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure into deep rock formations to free oil and gas.

Environmentalists say the process could contaminate ground water supplies. But Chevron has permits to explore for shale gas in Pungesti, two other villages, and on Romania’s Black Sea coast.

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