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France says no to fracking

July 15, 2013 at 7:29 AM

PARIS, July 15 (UPI) -- No shale natural gas campaigns using hydraulic fracturing will take place in France under the current administration, French President Francois Hollande said.

Hollande said Sunday he would not rule on a tax increase to help an economy struggling to emerge from recession. The French president said economic recovery in his country, however, is under way.

The French economy was in recession during the first quarter of 2013. It's expected to experience a small recovery with a 0.2 percent expansion for the second quarter, France 24 reported.

Hollande said recovery would not come through the exploitation of shale natural gas because of the environmental risks associated with the process.

"As long as I am president, there were will be no exploration for shale gas," he was quoted as saying.

The French Association of Environmental Health last year said the chemicals used in the extraction of natural gas from underground shale formations present health risks.

The French government enacted a moratorium on shale natural gas exploration in 2011. French energy giant Total, which had a permit to explore 1,670 square miles of land in southern France, said it would challenge the decision.

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