The coalition government in Germany agreed to ban fracking for shale gas. According to the decision, only test drilling will be allowed, with permission of the relevant state government. Industry in Germany would like to keep the option of fracking open, arguing that it lowers energy costs, but Germany has a strong green lobby opposed to fracking. If the law is approved by the German parliament, Germany will join France, which has already banned fracking. A year ago, Germany almost voted on similar legislation to ban fracking, but the efforts were postponed because of political disagreements among government members. The current ban is indefinite, with an agreement to revisit it in 2021. Environmentalists have criticized the agreement, stating that it essentially allows for fracking in five more years. For the full story, see