September 2, 2011
Bruno Van Peteghem, 2001 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Islands and Island Nations, celebrated a victory as the French government recently adopted a nation-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial natural gas extraction method frequently known as “fracking.”
Peteghem and the team at Association Toxicologie-Chime (ATC), an organization that consults businesses and citizens about toxic chemicals, presented representatives from every level of the French government with a 50-page document detailing the harmful effects of fracking. By providing telling information and applying constant pressure to the government, ATC’s work proved to be essential for getting the ban passed.
Because fracking is the only existing method for extracting gas from shale, the ban essentially nullifies the existing exploration permits held by French petroleum giant TOTAL to search for shale gas in the south of France.
The ban is an encouraging environmental victory that has the potential to lead the way for other European countries to say no to fracking.