First of all, France sits atop what many analysts believe are some of the most potentially productive natural gasfields in the world. So even as The Guardian reports, France banned the practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fracking is the term it’s known now in these times. So according to French media reports.

So let’s start why it’s nasty. First of all, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a rule on January 9, 2014. All requiring oil and gas companies using hydraulic fracturing off the coast of California to disclose the chemicals they discharge into the ocean. Because oil and gas companies have been fracking offshore California for perhaps as long as two decades. However, they largely flew under the radar until recently.

An Associated Press story in August 2013 revealed that oil and gas companies had engaged in hydraulic fracturing. I mean at least a dozen times in the Santa Barbara Channel. That’s the site of the nation’s first offshore drilling site. Also I mean as well as the first major oil spill. So the 1969 well blowout in the Santa Barbara Channel became the impetus for a series of environmental laws. For example and such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.

Powerplant fracking

Because documents published through a Freedom of Information Act request showing that federal regulators have allowed drillers to dump chemicals into the ocean without an environmental impact statement. That’s as well as without assessing the effects of doing so. This was largely unknown to California regulators and the general public. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement– the federal regulator responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling – has issued “categorical exclusions” for fracking offshore California, essentially giving frack jobs a pass on environmental assessments. The logic is that offshore fracking has largely occurred in existing wells, locations for which companies already jumped through all the environmental hoops long ago.

First of all I got the statement from the French newspaper Le Monde. This was done folks through the magic of Google Translate:

The French Parliament banned most interestingly on Thursday, June 30 in 2011. That’s using the technique of hydraulic fracturing. It’s consequently for exploration and exploitation of gas and oil shale. All most importantly under pressure from a strong mobilization of the French population. France therefore becoming the first country to ban the use of this technique. Fracking being considered highly polluting.

In addition, the French ban came just as it was appearing before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was considering lifting that state’s ban on fracking. Then, the Canadian province of Quebec placed a moratorium on fracking in March 2011.

In conclusion, fracking is a controversial procedure. All in which leads to tens of thousands of gallons of water laced with a toxic brew of chemicals. Plus most of which remain undisclosed by the natural gas industry.  Also, they are injected deep underground. Then breaking up rock formations and as they call it “freeing the natural gas trapped within.”

Natural gas line in a house

However and as the BBC reports for the UK:

Drilling companies suggest trillions of cubic feet of shale gas are recoverable from underneath parts of the UK. All through a fracking.

So I heard they’ve stopped but shouldn’t we all?

Well finally in the Guardian Bloomberg reporting France’s parliament passed the law. Yes folks, most importantly a ban on producing oil and gas after 2040. It’s a largely symbolic gesture. Especially as the country is 99% dependent on hydrocarbon imports.

So in the vote by show of hands. As a result only the right wing Republicans party opposed. Because all the while the left wing lawmakers abstained. So weird to me. I mean stand on one side or another!  I say don’t abstain because that’s just wavering!

So no new permits will be granted to extract fossil fuels. Also no existing licenses are renewed beyond 2040. That’s when all production in mainland France and its overseas territories will stop as Bloomberg reports.

Nat gas plant

Most interestingly and as The NY Times reported:

The Constitutional Council in France ruled against a challenge by Schuepbach Energy. They are an American company, whose exploration permits were revoked. They are the ones the most interestingly French Parliament banned the practice against!

Therefore environmental concerns, particularly worries about the danger to water supplies, have slowed adoption of the practice in Europe.  That’s why the center-right government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy passed a law prohibiting it in 2011!

In addition, centrist president Emmanuel Macron wanting France to take the lead away from fracking. To be as a major world economy switching away from fossil fuels. As well as the away from nuclear industry. Thereby directly into renewable sources.

His government planning to stop the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040.

Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho said she hoped the ban would be “contagious”. Thereby inspiring bigger producers to follow suit.

More interestingly, France extracting the equivalent of about 815,000 tonnes of oil per year. That’s more importantly an amount produced in a few hours by Saudi Arabia.

Finally and as the Guardian also reporting, even in 2013 France’s constitutional court upheld the ban on hydraulic fracturing. Thereby ruling that the law against the energy exploration technique known as “fracking” is a valid means of protecting the environment.

In conclusion as Gura and because the court in Paris said on its website. It saying that the 2011 law “conforms to the constitution” and is not “disproportionate”.

Finally, France banned fracking in 2011 and canceled exploration licenses held by companies including Schuepbach and Total SA. They are the country’s biggest oil company and were done after protests by environmental groups.

So consequently Schuepbach Energy LLC is a Dallas-based explorer. They complained to the court that the law was unfair. Especially now after having two exploration permits revoked because of the ban.

In addition, Schuepbach argued in court in that there isn’t a study establishing risks from fracking. The explorer also said the ban was unfair because the drilling technique may still be used in French geothermal energy projects. However he forgets to mention in geothermal projects they don’t inject tons of chemicals into the ground!

The court ruled that in imposing the ban, lawmakers were pursuing a legitimate goal in the general interest of protecting the environment and noted differences between geothermal and shale gas exploration techniques. The court also rejected an argument that the ban went against property rights.

Therefore and finally, French President François Hollande has said France won’t allow exploration of shale gas energy. This is because more importantly the country seeks to go green. I mean reduce its reliance on nuclear energy and keep down costs for consumers.