Monday, May 13, 2013

Shale Compendium: Germany and France

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “New deposits of gas could very probably be tapped in Germany with this technology but in contrast to the United States, we live in a very densely populated country. . . We must look carefully at whether this technology can be used here.  For me the most important thing is that there is no danger for people and the environment.” (Reuters Feb. 2013) 
  • Fracking moratorium on shale gas extraction was imposed in March 2011 in North-Rhine Westphalia, suspending ExxonMobil fracking operations in the region pending survey results (Natural Gas Europe)
  • Federal government rejected requests for a moratorium on shale extraction in December 2012 and published a study in August 2012 concluding that fracking should not be banned (Shale Gas Europe, August 2012 Study)
  • German government agreed on draft legislation to allow hydraulic fracturing in February 2013 (Bloomberg)

France (Moratorium)            
  • French President Franois Hollande in September 2012 rejected seven applications for shale development using hydraulic fracturing citing to “the heavy risk to health and the environment” and announced his stance to reject shale fracturing, stating “[a]s far as the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons is concerned, this will be my policy throughout my [five-year] term of office.” (Financial Times)
  • Environmental and Energy Minister, Delphine Batho said “The government clearly and distinctly maintains the ban on exploring shale gas, because nowhere in the world has it been proven that this exploration can be done without significant environmental damage and important health risks” (News Jul. 2012, World Oil 2012)
  • France Ministry of Ecology Sustainable Development and Energy, shale gas resources (Shale Gas Sept. 2012)
  • Gallois report commissioned by president Hollande includes recommendation for shale gas, published November 2012 (Gallois Report)

Written by Anna Leonenko, Research Fellow
Penn State Law, Agricultural Law Center
May 2013

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