Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hollande Administration Will Not Permit Fracking

Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande says he will not permit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. France imports 98% of the natural gas it uses each year. Yet according to U.S. Department of Energy data, the country's technically recoverable shale gas is second only to Poland's in Europe, and equal to more than a century's worth of French gas consumption. Those numbers are still tentative, but the short history of shale-gas exploration suggests preliminary estimates often prove low.

The Hollande government has also been tussling with utilities over the prices consumers pay for gas. The retail price of natural gas is controlled by the state in France, and the utilities have complained that the price increases the government has allowed aren't sufficient to cover their rising costs. In July, France's energy regulator agreed. Yet the Hollande government has limited the price rise to 2% anyway. It also promises to expand energy subsidies for consumers. (WSJ, 9/19/2012)

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