Ruling: France Will Remain Fracking Free

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 The permits were repealed soon after.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. 

Kevin Bonnaud


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