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    Romania’s Anti-Fracking Activists Cheer Chevron's Exit, Say Fight Not Over

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    George Epurescu, president of non-governmental organization "Romania Without Them", said that Chevron's withdrawal is a victory for the people, is a victory for justice and the sign that it is possible to fight against geopolitical giants.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — The withdrawal of US energy giant Chevron from Romania is a victory for anti-fracking activists in the country, but the fight is not over yet, non-governmental organization "Romania Without Them" told Sputnik on Monday.

    The announcement of Chevron's withdrawal from shale gas activities in Romania on Friday gave anti-fracking activists a taste of victory. It will mean an end to the company's European operations following declarations on its withdrawal from Poland, as well as the termination of shale gas agreements in Ukraine and Lithuania.

    "Chevron's withdrawal is a victory for the people, is a victory for justice and the sign that it is possible to fight against geopolitical giants… We won a battle but the war is not over yet," George Epurescu, president of the "Romania Without Them" (Romania Fara Ei) association told Sputnik.

    Aside from Chevron, a number of other energy companies have concessions for shale gas exploration in Romania, the NGO head explained.

    "We have already started the fight against NIS Petrol — GAZPROM, Panfora OIL, MOL Hungary, Clara Petroleum which also have concessions for such exploitations in Romania. The media has so far hidden the activities of these companies, but now our activities will be more visible against them as well," Epurescu said.

    The reasons for the US energy giant's withdrawal are still unclear. However, the pullback comes after the company announced cutting its capital and exploratory budget for 2015 by 13 percent. Epurescu claimed it could be the unfavorable reputation of the company in Romania that was the final blow to its business.

    Local community, environmental activists and NGOs have been working closely together to block Chevron's shale gas extraction activities in Romania, the head of the association claimed. They filed lawsuits, and "not all the court results were favorable to Chevron and most trials are ongoing," he added.

    Fracking is believed to damage the environment, contaminating groundwater with toxic materials.

    Fracking is the process of extracting shale gas through the injection of high pressure liquids, including water and various toxic solvents, deep into the ground. The technique has caused many protests by environmentalists and local communities in Europe and the United States.


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