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Did France outlaw fracking in 2011? Yes, they did.

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Like Texas, France’s shales have an abundance of natural gas. There’s likely enough drillable natural gas in the ground to supply the country’s gas needs for decades. “The United States Energy Information Agency estimates that there are 137 trillion cubic feet of “technically recoverable” gas in France, equivalent to decades worth of national consumption”, according to a story in the New York Times.

Yet, unlike Texas, France believes that the health and environmental costs of fracking for gas far outweigh its meager benefits, and that’s why they made the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing as a means for extracting gas from shale in 2011.

In 2017, France followed up their fracking ban by passing a law to end all new exploration and extraction for oil and gas using conventional drilling techniques by 2040. According to a CBS News story from 2017, “France's parliament has approved a law banning all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within the country and its overseas territories. Under that law that passed a final vote on Tuesday, existing drilling permits will not be renewed and no new exploration licenses will be granted.” Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said at the time, the law shows "current generations can take care of future generations."

At the November 30 public hearing regarding Total’s application for a Special Use Permit to frack for gas at the AC360 site here in Arlington, Councilwoman Moise incorrectly stated that the French fracking ban was symbolic and would not take effect till 2040.

This is in fact not true. France officially banned hydraulic fracturing and ended all exploration for shale gas in 2011.

In the interest of truth and accuracy, we request that the hearing record from November 30, 2021 be corrected.

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