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France Outlaws ‘Fracking’ Shale for Natural Gas, Oil

French senators voted to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making France the first country to pass a law banning the technique for extracting natural gas and oil.

“We are at the end of a legislative marathon that stirred emotion from lawmakers and the public,” French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said late yesterday before the vote. Hydraulic fracturing will be illegal and parliament would have to vote for a new law to allow research using the technique, she said.