A referendum carried out on Sunday in a handful of towns and localities in the Black Sea region on the exploitation of shale gas through hydraulic fracking was invalidated due to insufficient turnout, according to Agerpres newswire.
The minimum threshold of 50.1 percent was not met so the referendum can’t be validated, stated Cristian Radu, mayor of coast line city Mangalia.
“We needed an additional 2,000 votes to exceed the threshold. This is it, I don’t understand why my fellow citizens are not interested in their future, or their children’s,” said the mayor quoted by Agerpres.
“I, as a mayor, had the obligation to grant them a chance to have their say. But they weren’t preoccupied by this. I don’t think the repetition of the referendum is justified”
The referendum gathered insufficient voters in Costinesti, where only 49.7 percent of the people casted their ballots. Turnout in the Limanu commune – a tourist area, which included Vama Veche, 2 Mai and Limanu localities, was 39.19 percent.
US oil and gas company Chevron holds exploration and exploitation licenses for one shale deposit in the Southern Moldova – Barlad – and Southeast Romania, in three blocks covering 2,700sq km in the Dobrogea area.
The Ponta Government has imposed a moratorium on shale gas exploitation earlier this year, due to environmental concerns. Romanian officials are waiting for the finalization of EU studies on the impact of fracking, before making any decision.
Romanian President Traian Basescu stressed on numerous occasions that Romania needs shale in order to become energy independent and create jobs. He urged MPs to decide on controversial projects such as the exploitation of shale gas and the reopening of gold and copper mines.