Gaz de Schiste – The Fracking Watch Updates

Gaz de Schiste represents perhaps the greatest ever threat yet to French tourism, Produits du terroir, French vineyards and rural home values and the threat has not diminished despite government promises.

It’s not over until its over with thanks to

(Read more online French News here)

The fight against fracking in France is nowhere over warns FNE- France Nature Environnement which fears a white wash lies ahead driven by intense lobbying from powerful oil industry interests. Read the latest concerns here.

French News Online has reported extensively on the threat and because the issue remains a very hot potato, we have launched this regular spot in the paper to update readers about local efforts to stop what is widely regarded as a pernicious and foolhardy development.  For more news and developments read here and go here

France as one of the world’s leading producers of nuclear generated energy, surely has no need for shale gas, particularly as French research is underway into new-generation thorium nuclear reactors. The issues related to ‘mini earthquakes’ and damaging ‘water table pollution’ that those who oppose the Gaz de Schiste experiment fear, need to be properly evaluated before this irreversible step goes ahead.

A full and transparent environmental and ecologicial impact assessment ought to be undertaken and made public. The French and their guests — the millions of tourists who make this Europe’s top vacation destination — have a right to know exactly how much damage may be done by hundreds of well-heads dotted densely around some of France’s most breathtaking countryside.

After all even Jean-Louis Borloo, the former ecology minister who first authorised shale prospecting concessions to major oil interests, has now recanted. Since resigning from the governing UMP alliance he has taken a stand against fracking.

The links below are a start towards helping our readers keep in touch with the campaigns now underway. We welcome your input and your links to any related websites, blogs, and grass roots campaigning. Please use the comments box below.

FLASH UPDATE 13/04/2011: Back to Square One for Shale Gas – Fillon
According to the French news agency AFP, PM François Fillon told l’Assemblée nationale April 13 the government will support amending legislation now tabled in the house on shale oil exploration. He made clear the aim was to “start over from scratch” and “cancel the unsatisfactory permits already issued”.
He said: “In this debate between the French people and their government we must begin again and cancel those authorisations already granted”.
He added that he would prolong the deadline for the work of the “scientific research task force currently reviewing shale gas exploration and methods to be used.”
He said: “There is no question of sacrificing our environment, but there is also no question of shutting the door on future technological advances offering a pathway to new energy resources”.

See this article for additional concerns being expressed by TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc.) about the drilling methods used.

This article (pdf dowlnload) produced by TEDX is a paper accepted for publication and peer review in a scientific journal.

Here is a shale oil industry-produced film explaining how the fracking process works.

Stay in touch with follow-up to the film Gasland through Josh Fox’s Twitter account here.

….and help spread the word by linking to blogs/websites that raise the issue or report on it in anyway. For starters here is one such. Artist Frank Waaldijk has also posted a protest song video on the dangers of shale fracking in the Cevennes.

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