On October 11, 2013, France's Constitutional Council, the highest French constitutional authority, released a decision upholding the constitutional ban on hydraulic fracturing in France. Schuepbach Energy LLC, a Texas-based company, had sued claiming that the constitutional ban on hydraulic fracturing in Law No. 2011-835 of July 13, 2011, violated the company's property rights and unfairly targeted the practice, but the Council rejected those arguments. Schuepbach Energy sued after the French government revoked Schuepbach's exclusive licenses to produce hydrocarbons with hydraulic fracturing. The Council stated that the public policy principles favored sustainable development and protecting the environment, which outweighed the freedom of enterprise because the Council found that hydraulic fracturing posed numerous risks to the environment. The Council stated that its decision to uphold the ban on hydraulic fracturing for producing oil and gas did not ban hydraulic fracturing for stimulating geothermal water reservoirs.
The Council's decision may be found (in French) at: http://www.conseil-
constitutionnel.fr/conseil- constitutionnel/francais/les- decisions/acces-par-date/ decisions-depuis-1959/2013/ 2013-346-qpc/decision-n-2013- 346-qpc-du-11-octobre-2013. 138283.html
Bloomberg news also reported the story here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/
2013-10-11/fracking-ban- upheld-by-french-court-as- constitutional.html
Written by: Tom Panighetti
October 16, 2013