Nearly 1,000 hold anti-fracking demo in Romania village

Nearly 1,000 people have held a demonstration in the northeastern Romanian village of Pungesti to protest shale gas extraction in their village.

The protest took place on Saturday in the village, located 340 kilometers (211 miles) northeast of the capital Bucharest.

Although US oil giant Chevron suspended shale gas exploration for fear of prolonged protests, the villagers demonstrated chanting slogans such as “Chevron, go home” and “We say no to shale gas.”

“We have won a battle but not the final victory. I want my seven great-grand-children to grow up in a safe environment,” said an 88-year-old protester during the rally.

“I am against shale gas exploitation because of the chemicals used in fracking. I don’t think the company and Romanian officials are thinking about what could happen to people who live here,” said another protester.

Also on Saturday, several hundreds of Romanians took part in a similar protest in the eastern city of Barlad.

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.

Meanwhile, around 2,000 people living in the central Romanian town of Campeni took to the streets on Saturday, to criticize a Canadian firm’s plan to mine gold in the town of Rosia Montana by using cyanide in its extraction process.