Committee of Inquiry into the House of Representatives looking for truth about Groningen gas

The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into Natural Gas Extraction Groningen talks first with victims of earthquakes in the public interrogations starting next week, the committee has announced. In the first week, scientists, people from operator NAM and Shell and former Minister of Economic Affairs Annemarie Jorritsma (VVD) will also have the floor.

Three years ago, the House of Representatives decided to conduct its own research into the gas extraction in Groningen and the problems that have arisen as a result. The committee consists of MPs of VVD, D66, CDA, ChristenUnie, SP and PvdA. GroenLinks MP Tom van der Lee is chairman of the committee. The members have so far conducted 124 private interviews and went through stacks of documents.

โ€œIts really about sixty years of history,โ€ says Van der Lee. โ€œWe have had to extract a large part from documents. The people involved in the past are often no longer alive. Furthermore, we have based the choice of public interrogations on how to tell the story.โ€

Questions that will be addressed in the first week include: how big is the gas problem for the Groningers? What signals did scientists who researched the relationship between gas extraction and earthquakes give? What was the relationship between oil companies and government?

Damage and mistrust

The Groningen gas field was discovered in 1959, providing the government, and therefore citizens, and oil companies Shell and ExxonMobil many billions. But gas extraction has also taken its toll. Earthquakes resulting from the extraction have resulted in damage to buildings, residents who feel unsafe and distrust of the government and the companies and agencies involved.

Van der Lee: โ€œThe broken trust was an important reason for the House to start this survey. I hope that the public interrogation of those responsible and experts will help to restore that.โ€

Live at CCEIT

The interrogations will start next Monday at 10 am and will be broadcast live on NPO Politics. After the summer recess of the House, from 29 August, the second interrogation period follows. A total of seventy stakeholders and experts will be interviewed throughout the survey period.