FRENCH COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON FRACKING
Spurred by protests from environmental groups, France’s constitutional court upheld a 2011 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing on October 11th. The court rejected arguments that the ban went against property rights and maintained that it is a legitimate means of protecting the government. This decision—which French Environmental Minister Philippe Martin called a “judicial victory but also an environmental and political victory”—has been met with dismay from companies such as Schuepbach Energy LLC, a Dallas-based explorer. Schuepbach argued that no study has established risks from fracking, while the GEP-AFTP oil and gas lobby contended that through the ban France is “depriving itself of exploration that could evaluate large nonconventional carbon resources.” Environmental campaigners, on the other hand, applauded the decision. Some environmentalists link fracking to a variety of environmental problems—such as pollution and earthquakes—and argue that fracking has kept energy firms and governments from investing in renewable sources of energy. For the full story, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-11/fracking-ban-upheld-by-french-court-as-constitutional.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2454156/France-upholds-ban-fracking-fears-environmental-damage-shale-gas-reserves.html.