In a report in La Depeche dated 4/3/2012 concerning the demonstration organised by local collectifs against proposals for Gaz de Schiste exploration and exploitation we note that local maires have been busy drafting laws or 'arrêtés' that would effectively prevent those seeking to frack from using local roads, water and infrastructure in general. This worked effectively in the Ardeche region last year when Messrs Scheupbach Energy were prevented from fracking.
Here in France, Maire's are charged amongst other things with 'The conservation and management of the commune's natural environment and resources including issues over heritage and building and other activities'. Notably he/she has the power to make local laws and is seen as a representative of government.
'La solution passi aussi par les maires'
'The local collectifs opposed to Gaz de Schiste have repeated many times that local municipal laws or 'arrêtés' are one effective device for preventing the application of permits to explore and/or exploit Gaz de Schiste en France. In the Vars departement, close to 70 communes out of a total of 135 have taken powers to establish such local laws governing the use of roads and water etc. In the Lot, 50 communes within the jurisdiction of Grand Cahors have already passed laws. The association <Non au gaz du schiste permis de Cahors> are sending a ready made formula to every maire in the Lot in order that they may be best able to preserve and protect their territories from the degradation certain to follow on from fracking and related activities'.
The dialogue continues to develop just as the lobbyists are working overtime to convince our politicians. Fortunately, here in France there exists something just a little more pro-active than the average English Parish Council!