Bravo France, the first country in the world to ban fracking:
The French parliament voted on June 30 to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the web sites of Le Monde and other French media reported. …
Fracking requires the injection of vast quantities of water and potentially hazardous chemicals into the ground to force the release of natural gas. The U.S. government is investigating the environmental impact of the technique, which critics say produces toxic waste and pollutes water wells.
From another account:
Fracking, widely used in North America, uses a mixture of water, sand and chemicals injected under high pressure to break dense rock to release trapped oil and gas. Green groups and politicians led protests across France, saying the method could cause environmental damage. Government ministers and industry representatives say it is the only method currently available to extract hydrocarbons from the rock. …
Oil companies operating in France “deplore” the French ban, according to the Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres, or UFIP, which represents Total SA (FP) and other explorers and refiners. UFIP, it said in a statement, “considers that the law will prevent an evaluation of shale hydrocarbon resources and their impact on the French economy.”
Nice to see one country stand up to the power of the oil companies, and take environmental concerns seriously for a change. But for every step forward in this world, we seem to take two steps backwards:
In the northern reaches of Alberta lies a vast reserve of oil that the United States views as a pillar of its future energy needs. China, with a growing appetite for oil that may one day surpass that of the US, is ready to spend the dollars for a big piece of it. The oil sands of this Canadian province are so big that they will be able to serve both of the world’s largest economies as production expands in the coming years. …
Critics dislike the whole concept of oil sands, because extracting the oil requires huge amounts of energy and water, increases greenhouse gas emissions and threatens rivers and forests. Keystone XL, the pipeline that would bring Alberta oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries to serve the US market, compounds the issue.
There is a vast reserve of oil in these oil sands, but we have to leave it there. We are supposed to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not increasing them. We are supposed to be finding new, sustainable, green sources of energy, not turning to ever more expensive and polluting methods of extracting ever more climate destroying hydrocarbons from the earth. New Zealand is as bad as Canada, thanks to the “sexy coal” Nats and John “mine the lignite” Key. The world needs to follow France, and say when enough is enough, not follow Canada and New Zealand on the road to madness.