Poland is spearheading the development of shale gas resources in Europe, hoping to wean itself off Russian gas imports. Although there is no commercial production yet, exploration concessions cover 90,000 sq. km., or 29 percent of the entire territory of Poland, with about 30 international and domestic companies involved in the process. The government and the majority of Poles firmly support the search for unconventional fossil fuels, as energy independence has become a top priority in the country. But there are also voices of dissent, both local residents and environmentalists, who are convinced that fracking could cause enormous ecological damage and offset any economic advantages.
Dimiter Kenarov has been traveling through Poland, looking at the political, economic, social and environmental aspects of shale gas development.
Reporting for this project was funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Calkins Media