Friday, 1 July 2011

France ( 01.07.11) All over bar the shouting???

So is that it? This morning, after three months of arguments, recriminations and sundry amendments, the headlines in every French newspaper are proclaiming that France is the first country in the world to ban "fracking", following last nights vote in the Senate. In reality, that much was already a foregone conclusion; as always however, the devil is in the details.......

The wording approved by the Senate is the same as the one from the Joint Committee (see previous posts for a full translation and comments), so no change there. There were a few questions yesterday about whether fracking for scientific purposes would still be allowed, which led Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the Environment Minister, to confirm that that particular option had already been shut down by the Joint Committee.

Companies that already hold shale gas exploration licences* now have two months to either state that they plan to continue their operations using an "alternative process", or see their licences rescinded. The obvious danger, of course, is that they somehow come up with an "alternative process" (whatever that might be) in the next eight the shouting may not quite be over yet......

* As a reminder, although a number of shale gas exploration licences have been requested, three have actually been awarded so far, in the areas of Nant (Aveyron), Montelimar (Gard) and Villeneuve-de-Berg (Ardèche). Bear in Mind, however, the recent listing of the Causses-Cévenenes region as a UNESCO Heritage Site would now make prospecting for shale gas in most of the Nant licence area virtually impossible.

Watch this space.......

Please note, this article first appeared on the blog pages of our associate site:

Comment (Schistehappens)...........

It may just be of course, that the two month 'proving' period is entirely genuine and has been established to show beyond doubt that the fracking fraternity had every chance to come up with alternatives. By this means, government would avoid paying hefty sums in compensation to existing licence holders.

As a footnote, it may be worth noting that the PS (Party Socialiste) is far from happy with the new law and we understand that they are to propose new legislation in the next session of parliament. This issue is far from settled.


No comments:

Post a Comment