Join The Discussion

 

Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

read more >

Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

read more >

Westchester Plaza manager says "business as usual" for now

The future of a redevelopment plan for the 50-year-old Westchester Plaza on Fort Worth's Near Southside is unclear.

read more >

Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

read more >

Monty Bennett: Businessman, water district activist

Monty Bennett’s name will not appear on the ballot for the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors yet he remains a powerful backstage player whose influence could shape the direction of the district’s business for years to come.

read more >

 

Dutch to reduce gas production due to earthquakes

 

TOBY STERLING, Associated Press

 

 


AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Cabinet has decided to reduce the amount of gas produced from fields that lie under the country's northernmost province by 6 percent, as the mining has caused earthquakes and damaged houses in the region.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the decision Friday. He said that government-commissioned studies have shown beyond a doubt that the gas production did cause the earthquakes — long a topic of debate — which have been going on for years. Although rarely registering more than 3 on the Richter scale, the quakes have led to "material and emotional" damages for some residents in the province of Groningen, Rutte said.

In the small town of Loppersum, where damages have been worst, Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp traveled personally to city hall to deliver the news that production there would be cut by 80 percent.

Tensions were high among protesters before details of the plan were revealed. Two men drove tractors through a set of temporary police gates as Kamp began speaking. That allowed several dozen protesters to approach the building, where they banged on windows, honked air horns and scuffled with police. There were no arrests.

The Cabinet has promised to pay 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in damages over the coming five years. Additionally, the country will cut annual production in Groningen by about 6 percent, to 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Last year production levels and gas prices were higher than normal, and the government earned more than 12 billion euros from gas exploitation.

The costs and loss of revenue are painful for Rutte's Cabinet, which has been struggling to bring the government's budget deficit under 3 percent. After several rounds of cost-cutting and tax hikes, and several consecutive recessions, there is little enthusiasm among the Dutch for further austerity measures.

However, the costs from the change of policy in Groningen is unlikely to put the government in acute danger: Most economists are forecasting a return to growth this year, and cutting gas production and compensating Groningen for damages should not cost more than 1 percent of the government's annual budget.


 

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?