Fracking Is Causing Tensions in the Austrian Parliament

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: January 18, 2023; 23:22 ♦ (Vindobona) ♦ Sponsored Content

Fracking has caused tensions in the Austrian parliament. Climate protection Minister Leonore Gewessler from the Green Party tried to pass a law banning Fracking in Austria. However, the party’s coalition partner in the government, the Austrian People's Party (OEVP) declined the law.

Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler Tried Unsuccessfully to Pass a Law Banning Fracking in Austria. / Picture: © BMK / Cajetan Perwein

Leonore Gewessler, climate protection minister from the Green Party, initially failed to get her coalition partner to ban fracking. Gewessler admittedly expressed his astonishment in front of journalists on Wednesday: If everyone is against fracking anyway, it "couldn't be a problem" to anchor it. "Nobody wants fracking," affirmed State Secretary Florian Tursky from the OEVP, but it's "not an issue.” as it is stated in Kurier.

According to Die Presse, ahead of the Council of Ministers meeting, Gewessler emphasized that the controversial gas extraction method of fracking makes no economic, environmental, or climate sense in Austria. The ministerial speech did not make it onto the agenda. She finds it "amazing" when "everyone is against it." Gewessler pointed out that in Lower Austria the Greens like the OEVP are against fracking, but the OEVP in the federal government has also spoken out against it. "Then it's only logical for me that we pour that into a proposal for the Council of Ministers," said the Green Minister. "That shouldn't be a problem then."

Gewessler probably alluded to the forthcoming Lower Austrian state elections that she wanted to avoid people worrying that this was just "lip service" before an election. "That's why I think it would be good, also for the credibility of politics, if we followed words with deeds.”, according to

On behalf of the coalition partner, State Secretary Tursky, who represented injured Finance Minister Magnus Brunner, defended the OEVP's no: "It's clear to us: nobody wants fracking." But there is currently no project on it, so "it's simply not a concern for us." Should there be a need for regulation in connection with a project, this will be dealt with. In any case, Gewessler's advance should have failed for the time being. As the minister put it, "the proposal is in the government's internal coordination.", as reported by Kurier.

According to, In a written statement, Greenpeace criticized the OEVP's decision to block a ban on fracking across Austria and to leave a backdoor open to this climate and environmental disaster. "Apparently, the fossil lobby of advocates of this dangerous production method is still very strong in the People's Party - there is no other way of explaining this messing about," said Jasmin Duregger, climate and energy expert at Greenpeace Austria. "If the Nehammer-OEVP is serious about its supposedly negative attitude towards fracking, it has to agree to a ban. Anything else is hypocrisy."