RULING: FRANCE WILL REMAIN FRACKING FREE by Kevin Bonnaud, December 29, 2015, Natural Gas Europe
This past week, American firm Schuepbach lost its legal action against the French state to be allowed to frack for shale in Southern France.
The Texas-based oil company had sued the French state for years over the abrogation of two permits in Southern France–the licences of Nant and Villeneuve-de-Berg–which were granted before the country’s anti-fracking law passed in 2011. The permits were repealed soon after.
The administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise in the Paris area rejected the appeal of the American company on December 22, two weeks after the court heard the case.
This decision has not come as a surprise to most: The public prosecutor called for a rejection of the appeal during the hearing on December, 8.
The decision comes as a relief for environmental activists as well as public officials on the left who strongly oppose hydraulic fracturing. José Bové, a green activist and member of the European Parliament who led the fight was among those who welcomed the news on Twitter. “It’s a win! Schuepbach dismissed by the administrative court of Cergy. Permits abrogation are upheld in Southern France.”
Meanwhile, a claim from the oil company regarding damages of €117 million as partial compensation has not been heard yet. A date has still to be set.
As for Total’s appeal regarding the Montélimar permit in the South East, the administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise will consider the case on January 8th. [Emphasis added]
FRANCE: PUBLIC PROSECUTOR DEFENDS REPEAL OF SHALE GAS PERMITS by Kevin Bonnaud, December 14, 2015, Natural Gas Europe
On the 8th of December, as negotiators from around the world were working around the clock to reach agreement on a climate deal in Le Bourget, just 20 miles west from there, the administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise was hearing the arguments of Schuepbach over the abrogation of two permits in the wake of the anti-fracking law passed in 2011.
The US company is claiming damages of €117 million as partial compensation for the licences of Nant and Villeneuve-de-Berg in Southern France.
The long anticipated decision, which could revive the shale gas debate in France or bury it at least until the next presidential elections in 2017, will come later this month. The court reserved judgement to late December but the public prosecutors words give some clues with regards to the outcome of the case. The appeal is likely to be rejected.
According to the judge, the French State, which banned the hydraulic fracturing technique, had no other choice than to repeal the existing permits if the energy company (Schuepbach) refuses to give them up. The public prosecutor also pointed out the impact of fracking on the environment.
“The action for compensation will not fly if we look at the judge conclusions and I welcome it” reacted José Bové, a prominent figure of the green movement and member of the European Parliament.
As for Total’s appeal regarding the Montélimar permit in the South East of France, the administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise will consider the case early next year on January 8th. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2015 04 07: Frac industry pushing France with old lies to sneak in fracing; Promoting extremely dangerous, toxic, financially ruinous gelled “non-flammable” propane fracs as “safe, clean and green” non-fracs!
“By any responsible account,” Chief Justice Castille wrote, “the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale Formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children, and the future generations, and potentially on the public purse, perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.”
….Energy Minister Delphine Batho rejected any move to relax the ban, citing “considerable” environmental damage in the U.S. caused by the method. Earthquakes, aquifer pollution, heavy metal contamination, increased truck traffic and damage to the countryside are consequences of fracking, the minister said in a radio debate. “The U.S. has invented environmental dumping,” Batho said. “Gas prices in the U.S. don’t take into account the cost of environmental damage that future generations will have to pay.” [Emphasis added]
2012 08 27: French PM: Shale gas future not settled, The question of tapping of shale gas reserves in France — where hydraulic fracturing is banned — is not yet resolved, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says