Fight against fracking in rural Netherlands: from community meetings to decision-making

Paul Stephen Benneworth, Willem-Jan Velderman

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In late 2014, in our home region of Twente, the Netherlands, the local newspaper reported that the Dutch National Oil Company (NAM) was meeting with local citizens to give them information about the injection of waste water from oil drilling operations (an extraction technique similar to fracking) in the area. The report came some three years after the pumping had started. The story set off alarm bells. Why would a company organize meetings to tell residents about something that had been happening legally for more than three years? More than a year of organizing and meetings followed, during which time the NAM had to suspend pumping and the Netherlands declared a ten-year moratorium on fracking in response to widespread opposition. This is a story of how local residents were able to unmask the manipulation masquerading as citizen participation, gather information and develop knowledge about fracking, and insist on a more democratic approach based on open discussion and full disclosure by the authorities and NAM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-27
JournalProgressive planning
Issue number207
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-316549
  • IR-100299


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