France maintains shale gas ban: environment minister

Jul 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: Isolated indigenous communities of South America under threat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Romania to review moratorium on shale gas

Jun 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.

English tremors blamed on shale 'fracking'

Nov 02, 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

Nov 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

Mar 02, 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.

Recommended for you

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

2 hours ago

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon

2 hours ago

Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of PerĂº. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change ...

How might climate change affect our food supply?

3 hours ago

It's no easy question to answer, but prudence demands that we try. Thus, Microsoft and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to tackle "food resilience," one of several themes ...

Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area

4 hours ago

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York's Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable ...

User comments : 2

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.