The Delaware, on the Atlantic coast of the United States, is one of America’s largest and most important rivers, providing water to millions. Issues such as conservation, flood mitigation and development are decided by the Delaware River Basin Commission, which is made up of the four governors of Delaware, Pennyslvania, New Jersey and New York together with a representative of the US government (currently a Brigadier General from the Army Corps of Engineers).
Earlier this year, the two houses of the French parliament voted to ban hydraulic fracturing throughout France. As Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, said,
“We have seen the results in the U.S. There are risks for the water tables and these are risks we don’t want to take.”
Companies which had been granted exploration permits were given the opportunity to demonstrate how they could extract shale gas without using this method. They have been unable to do so, and so their permits have been withdrawn.
Important news from the Republic, where the Minister for Energy and Natural Resources has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out a study of the various impacts of hydraulic fracturing before his government go any further in granting permits. As he says,
“At present there is currently very little European experience of the process. For this reason I have asked the EPA to examine the area and advise me and [my] colleagues in Government on the environmental implications of fracking.”
This seems a sensible approach, and one which it might be wise for our own representatives to adopt. What do you think?