France maintains shale gas ban: environment minister

July 20, 2012
French citizens form a human chain to protest against the exploration work of shale gas in May 2012 in Auch. France has no intention of lifting its ban on shale gas exploration because of continued concerns over its environmental impact, Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho said Friday.

France has no intention of lifting its ban on shale gas exploration because of continued concerns over its environmental impact, Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho said Friday.

"The government clearly and distinctly maintains the ban on exploiting shale gas because nowhere in the world has it been proven that this exploitation can be done without significant and important health risks," Batho told BFMTV.

"Nothing in the government's agenda today foresees a reconsidering of the ban on ," she said.

French lawmakers voted in June to ban tapping gas from shale rock using a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", which has raised concerns about spills, leaks and contamination of groundwater.

Little-known even five years ago, natural gas trapped in sedimentary shale rock is seen as having the potential to transform global energy markets.

But moves to tap it have sown deep divisions in Europe amid concerns the hydraulic fracturing process used to extract it is environmentally risky.

The president of France's UFIP oil industry body Jean-Louis Schilansky told AFP he hoped the issue was not permanently closed to discussion.

"We registered the minister's statement. But we hope that a debate can take place," he said.

Along with Poland, France is considered to have the most potential in Europe for exploitation.

Explore further: English tremors blamed on shale 'fracking'

Related Stories

English tremors blamed on shale 'fracking'

November 2, 2011

(AP) -- The only company in Britain using hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from shale rock said Wednesday that the controversial technique probably did trigger earth tremors in April and May.

Duke study offers 7 safeguards for hydraulic fracturing

November 17, 2011

A new report by Duke University researchers offers several health and environmental measures for North Carolina lawmakers to consider as they debate legalizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Polish report: shale gas extraction not harmful

March 2, 2012

(AP) -- A scientific study in Poland has found that shale gas extraction at one site produced some toxic refuse but that the waste was reused and didn't harm the environment.

Romania to review moratorium on shale gas

June 22, 2012

Romania will review its stand on shale gas when a drilling moratorium expires in December and align itself with a future joint EU position on the controversial issue, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Friday.

Recommended for you

Playing 'tag' with pollution lets scientists see who's 'it'

July 29, 2015

Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot from different global regions and can track where it lands on the Tibetan Plateau, researchers have determined which areas around the plateau contribute the most soot—and ...

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

July 28, 2015

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
3 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2012
When the Euro finally collapses, the French will not have much choice as they will need to bolster the value of their new Franc.
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
The government clearly and distinctly maintains the ban on exploiting shale gas because nowhere in the world has it been proven that this exploitation can be done without significant environmental damage and important health risks

Good call. Though the motive behind it is probably not any environmental concerns but the nuclear lobby. France has no environmental movement to speak of.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.