A rally in Barjac in the Gard is organized on Sunday late morning, at the initiative of collective Ardèche “Stop Shale Gas”. The reasons for the anger: a court order issued in late January that allows Total multinational to resume shale gas research
The anti sling. shale -Gas off again in the south of France. Several thousand people gathered Sunday in Barjac (Gard) requesting a total ban on the exploration and exploitation of shale gas. While the organizers announced 15,000 participants in mid-afternoon, the police dénombrait in 6000, reports France Bleu Ardeche. “Nothing is loose,” “It’s still there,” “We are not masochistic-schists,” could be read on the demonstrators placards.
“We do not want promises, we want actions,” insisted during a press conference Paul Reynard, one of the collective Stop spokespersons shale gas, which called for “citizens assembly”. “The Minister of Ecology Ségolène Royal has not stopped us unfulfilled promises, like all its predecessors. It is enough if the Socialist government wants to legislate, he must do it immediately. ” Otherwise, mobilization, nonviolent since 2010, will be transformed into “blocks”, threatened a spokesman Sebastien Spain.
A legal battle dating from 2011
The reasons for their anger: a court order issued in late January. The Cergy-Pontoise Administrative Court annulled the repeal of the exploration permit called “Montelimar” granted to two companies in the Total Group in April 2010. In other words, the court authorized the multinational to resume shale gas research several thousand km² in Drôme, Ardèche, Gard, Vaucluse and Herault.
This legal battle was in October 2011. At the time, the government had decided to repeal the three exploration licenses including the total. The executive was then made that decision under the law of 13 July 2011 banning the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, the only employee so far to extract the gas trapped in shale narrow cracks. And even if Total had pledged not to resort to this solution, the Ministry of Ecology had estimated that the oil was not specific enough on substitutions solutions. Considering this decision unfounded, Total had decided to file an appeal.
Ségolène Royal appealed
On 28 January, the Cergy-Pontoise Administrative Court eventually decide canceling the repeal of the license. “The Tribunal found that the two companies of the Total group had fulfilled their obligations in a clear commitment not to resort to hydraulic fracturing,” he justified in a statement. “This decision really angry people. It has greatly expanded our movement, “said Mr. Reynard. “Oil as Total obtain permits over 15 years, they expect a change of majority and the coming to power of parties supporting the exploitation of shale gas,” he said, referring to the party Republicans.
In the process, the Ecology Minister has appealed this decision. Which for now puts the decision of the court admnistratif. The minister said in a statement that “the law on the energy transition to green growth” fixed “target of reducing 30% of the oil consumption by 2030″. She else reaffirmed its determination “to strictly enforce the prohibition of hydraulic fracturing in an objective of protecting the environment and health.”
Total had however stated shortly before the decision of Cergy court does not want to “push through on that subject” and go against the advice of the government. “If the national community does not want us to do exploration of shale gas, we will not do,” reacted the CEO of Total, Patrick Poyanne, micro Europe 1. “I think he needs to be a consensus on such a subject. ” Statements that have not reassured the opponents.