Extracting gas in Italy for energy independence? A toxic and banal narrative

Extracting gas in Italy for energy independence? A toxic and banal narrative
Extracting gas in Italy for energy independence? A toxic and banal narrative
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We assess the situation. As always, in Italy, when there is a complex problem, dissent struggles to express itself seriously and what little often touches the problem and does not address it. With the war in Ukraine and the problem of Russian gas supply, an alternative narrative has rightly focused on the opposition to the war, against the trade war between the US and Russia for the primacy of gas supply (Russian natural VS liquefied US), against rising prices and against the exploitation of war by financial speculation supported by neoliberal governments.

Among the oppositions, often right-handed or who define themselves as “apolitical” or “common sense”, in line with a certain reactionary and right-thinking respectability, there has been a toxic narrative that was thought to be outdated: “If we cannot take the gas from Russia, why don’t we extract it in Italy that we have a lot of it also for a question of energy independence? ”.

A question to which some commercial TV programs, such as Mario Giordano’s Fuori Dal Coro in March 2022, had responded with embarrassing news reports, aimed at regenerating outdated opinions by re-legitimizing them as “anti-system” or “alternative”. A television propaganda operation that had very deep gaps and that was riding a wave of dissent with the aim of channeling it on certain political positions. It was said: “In Italy there are 752 completely inactive gas extraction wells. Of 1,298 extraction points, 752 are stationary. ” – showing the still drilling rigs in Romagna, in the Venice Lagoon, in the Marches and in Abruzzo. They talked about the Fabrizia 1 platform, in front of San Benedetto del Tronto, scandalized by the fact that it was a “non-supplying production well”, that is, the gas is ready to be taken but no one extracts it.

To speak, they asked the engineer Michelangelo Tortorella, CEO of Impianti-Assomineraria, who was also scandalized by the situation.

In 2000, 17 billion cubic meters were extracted, today only 800 million. Translated: 95% less ”- continued the service -“ There is still a lot of gas. Estimates are still 140 billion cubic meters in Italy “, to then add that in 2021 we extracted 3.34 billion cubic meters (6% of our gas production, while 94% from abroad) and that if we all had the rehabilitated wells could exploit Italy’s “important mining potential” up to 10 times more, reaching 30 billion cubic meters per year. If the math is not an opinion, it means that we could only use the “very large amount” of gas for 5 years.

However, the service relied on the fact that our gas would cost 5 cents per cubic meter (in March 2022), while that from abroad we spend 70 cents (in March 2022) to take it from Libya, Algeria, Russia. , from the countries of the North. But this makes no sense if we think of the economic and environmental costs, the Environmental Impact Assessments and the duration of the Italian gas that fails to meet the energy needs.

The service, which circulated a lot on social media, de facto rehabilitated old rhetoric by blaming environmentalism and praising mining. In reality, we know very well what the service omitted, namely that the gas extracted within 12 miles is just under 3% of the gas needed for national needs and that oil is only 0.95%. In short, using that we could go on and on for 6 months. So what energy independence are we talking about? There is no need to look for it elsewhere, a functioning energy saving policy would suffice. Furthermore, in Italy, the energy produced by renewables is already at 38% and the contribution of electricity to national production, deriving from renewable sources, exceeds that of fossil origin.

Perhaps this toxic narrative, in every sense, wants to reach those who do not know that the gas or oil extracted even if in Italian waters is no longer from Italy but from the companies that extract it. Perhaps they do not know that, since 2016, Croatia and France have asked for the stop of drilling in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, while Italy has never expressed any intention.


Perhaps they do not know that we are currently in conflict with European laws and precisely with Directive 94/22 / EC, implemented by Italy with Legislative Decree no. infringement procedure against Italy (old reports from GreenPeace and WWF state this).

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Furthermore, this narrative seems to overshadow the fact that extractivism and environmental devastation are among the causes of climate collapse and marine ecological imbalances, creating a very strong impact. For years, States have been discussing how to deal with the rise in temperature that took place in the last 150 years, starting with industrialization of which extractivism is a paradigm in the Anthropocene. There are hundreds of scientists who have now established that in the last 150 the temperature has risen by at least 0.7 ° C and that we are now at the limit of that threshold that has been identified as 2 ° C beyond which the survival of our species and others are at risk.

Yet, this narrative wants to rehabilitate the old theories of climate denial, financed since the Eighties by multinationals such as Exxon, leading to believe that it is right to use gas … if there is and as long as there is … so much the climate crisis is “pure alarmism out of place ”as the Earth has always had cyclical cycles and climatic changes, such as glacial and interglacial periods, the Wurm, the Riss, the Mindel and much more. Pure bullshit, because it is mass industrial society and globalization coincide perfectly with the peak of global warming.

This is a rhetoric that, from a certain point of view, wants to obscure the anti-ecological work of the “government of the best” led by Draghi, with Minister Cingolani’s “ecological fiction” aimed instead at a pure greenwashing and to the growth of green capitalism, which has nothing ecological as a regeneration of the current model of development, consumption and production, without questioning the globalized industrial society and its overall impact. In fact, there is no mention of how the discussions in Europe on the phantom “green taxonomy” do not actually have an ecological, but rather a financial equivalent (according to the declaration of the neoliberals and bureaucrats of Brussels themselves), to the point of including the nuclear super impact of new generation.

A rhetoric that is forgotten as Minister Cingolani defined the environmentalists and how he did not hesitate to sign new drilling concessions (which he could absolutely stop) such as the drilling projects of three already existing oil and gas wells (the well ‘Calipso 5 He will say in the Marche that Eni would like to dig off the coast of Ancona; the ‘Donata 4 Dir’ well, between Marche and Abruzzo; and the Lince exploration well, in Sicily). Exactly like the 7 decrees concerning the Via relating to the renewal of the mining concessions ‘Barigazzo’ and ‘Vetta’, in Emilia Romagna, for the cultivation of gaseous hydrocarbons; the projects for putting into production the natural gas well ‘Podere Maiar 1dir’, as part of the ‘Selva Malvezzi’ cultivation concession, in Emilia Romagna; the ‘Teodorico’ hydrocarbon field between Emilia Romagna and Veneto.

All this to reiterate how the bleak idea of ​​resuming massive gas extraction in Italy, collaborating in the emptying of the subsoil, is a toxic, false and banal narrative.

The article is in Italian

Tags: Extracting gas Italy energy independence toxic banal narrative

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