Spain’s rollback from renewables to oil and gas is having a serious impact on important natural treasures.
The national park of Doñana, one of Europe’s most important protected areas, is located at the heart of a new plan for gas extraction and storage. On January 15th 2013, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture , Food and Environment approved a pack of EIA studies for different parts of the plan, possibly in an effort to minimise the possibility of court orders that would cancel the entire project.
The “El Saladillo” plan of Spanish energy giant GasNatural Fenosa (MCE:GAS) includes the construction of a 20 km-long pipeline extension, in addition to another 50 km of pipelines that run through the protected area, and a total of 14 natural gas extraction wells, five of which will be new. According to the plan, the depleted gas fields will be used for underground storage.
In an impressive urgent appeal to collective action, WWF Spain openly called for the cancellation for the project. A letter signed by 10,000 citizens was addressed to former Spanish PM Felipe González, current member of the Board of Directors of GasNatural Fenosa.
Sources: WWF Spain, El Pais (both in Spanish), Question to the Commission by MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)