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Published: Friday, 7/1/2011

France makes ‘fracking’ for natural gas illegal


PARIS — French senators voted to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making France the first country to pass a law banning the technique for extracting natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing will be illegal and parliament would have to vote a new law to allow research using the technique.

Energy companies that use fracking to produce oil and gas in France will have their permits revoked and its use could lead to fines and prison, according to the law passed by Senators in Paris.

Fracking, widely used in North America, uses a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals injected under high pressure to break dense rock to release oil and gas trapped within. Green groups say the method could cause environmental damage.

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