Hydraulic fracturing has become a worldwide topic of debate.
The New York moratorium on the process expires today, July 1.
But on Thursday night, France came into the fracking spotlight.
The French Senate, in a vote of 176-151, passed a law officially banning the method across the nation.
Fracking is the process of releasing natural gas within shale rock deposits by injecting them with large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals.
The process has environmentalists worldwide up in arms with claims that the process contaminates groundwater and drinking water deposits.
And in France, it’s not just strict environmentalists that have protested the project. Farmers worry that the chemical leaks will affect water they use for agriculture, and some have even seen evidence of such damage.
France is the first country to completely outlaw the process of fracking.
Only a year ago, the nation issued permits to several companies for both shale gas and shale oil exploration.
According to the bill, such companies must issue a declaration of their new method of exploration within a period of two months.
Companies that fail to do this, and ones that still maintain fracking is their method of choice, will have their permits revoked completely.
Those that, even after all of this, go ahead with fracking will be subject to heavy fines.
However, Environmental Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told Bloomberg that she expects some of these companies won’t go down without a fight.
The government, she expressed, will probably face lawsuits from companies upset over the sudden loss of their permits.
Several leftist groups in France are unhappy with the bill for other reasons, voting against it for the belief that it didn’t go far enough
The bill allows for the possibility of future research into the process of fracking, which some believe means this law is not final.
It is clear that any decision in regards to fracking will leave fierce opponents fuming.
France has decided appeasement of the oil companies isn’t worth the risk.
That’s all for now,