Even though the nation sits atop what many analysts believe are some of the most potentially productive natural gas fields in the world, France has banned the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it has come to be known in the parlance of our times, according to French media reports.
From the French newspaper Le Monde, through the magic ofGoogle Translate:
The French Parliament banned, Thursday, June 30, using the technique of hydraulic fracturing for exploration and exploitation of gas and oil shale, under pressure from a strong mobilization of the populations concerned. France becomes the first country to ban the use of this technique considered highly polluting.
The license holders will have two months to report the technique and only if they resort to hydraulic fracturing, or if they do not, the permit will be revoked. The majority and the government does not want to permanently close the door to the hydrocarbon potential wealth of the French underground.
The French ban comes just as it appears the New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will lift that state’s ban on fracking.
The Canadian province of Quebec placed a moratorium on fracking in March 2011.
Fracking is a controversial procedure in which tens of thousands of gallons of water laced with a toxic brew of chemicals — most of which remain undisclosed by the natural gas industry — are injected deep underground to break up rock formations, thereby freeing the natural gas trapped within.