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France extends its ban on fracking

FRANCE 24 reports that in a Bastille Day interview French President François Hollande said that he would not revoke France’s ban on the exploration for shale gas under his presidency.

The news report says, “‘As long as I am president, there were will be no exploration for shale gas’, Hollande said, adding that the fracking technique (which entails injecting chemicals mixed with water and sand into the ground to release the natural gases) used to extract shale gas presented too many ‘risks to groundwater’. Energy companies have been banned since 2011 from exploiting shale gas in France over fears of environmental risks from the potential air and water pollution involved in fracking.”

BBC adds, “The comments come as a French court was due to examine an appeal against a government ban on fracking. …France’s top court was this week due to examine a challenge to the ban on fracking by Schuepbach Energy, which held two exploration permits that were cancelled when the law was passed in 2011. …Scheupbach Energy challenged the ban in the local court of Cergy-Pontoise near Paris, which forwarded the case to France’s highest administrative court, which then passed it on to the Constitutional Council.”

And UPI notes, “French energy giant Total, which had a permit to explore 1,670 square miles of land in southern France, said it would challenge the decision.”