France to gradually ban fracking and oil extraction

France prepares to enter a new age of renewable energy (Getty Images)
Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | December 21,  2017

The French government has drafted a bill that will ban fracking and oil extraction in all of its territories by 2040.

The gesture is described as “mostly symbolic”, as the country already runs primarily on imported hydrocarbon energy. The country has pledged to gradually stop renewing and issuing licenses to extract oil or use fracking for natural gas, in the hopes that the law will inspire other nations to adopt the same strategy. The country will also aim to stop the sale of diesel car engines by the end of the bill’s timeline.

Fracking–a method of harvesting natural gas and oil by shooting a water mixture at high pressures into the ground–has garnered lots of concern and criticism from various government groups in the UK, though supporters stand by the method’s ability to create jobs and secure reliable energy. Critics claim that the chemicals used to crack into the ground seeps into and pollutes groundwater, and weakens the Earth’s crust–bringing with it a heighten risk of small tremors.

While France uses a small amount of oil compared to some of its larger counterparts, the goal to rely solely on renewable energy is not a small one–but it’s a goal the French government is determined to reach.




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