"Will shale gas poison Belgian competiveness in the years to come?" wonders the Belgian daily. The emergence of shale gas, especially in the United States, coupled with a decline in European demand, has lowered the cost of gas.
This, in turn, has led to a fall in the price of coal. As a result, European utility companies are switching from gas to coal – a more polluting energy – to produce electricity. Add to that the drop in the price of carbon credits in Europe, which have plummeted from a 2008 high of €35 for a tonne of carbon dioxide to under €5 a few weeks ago, "it now costs nothing to pollute," Le Soir concludes.