France is the first country to pass a law that bans hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for extracting natural gas and oil, several international news sites reported on Friday, July 1, 2011.
Fracking is a process of extracting natural gas and oil, in which a mixture of sand, water and chemicals is injected under high pressure to break dense rocks to release the gas and oil trapped within.
According to reports, the law against fracking was passed by a vote of 176 in favor, 151 against, by French senators in Paris. Lawmakers of the ruling UMP party reportedly voted in favor of the bill while the opposition Socialists rejected it for not going far enough.
Reports said that companies that plan to use fracking to produce gas and oil in France will have their permits revoked and its use could lead to prison and fines.
Under the new bill, companies with exploration permits will have 2 months to declare whether they intend to use fracking. If they do, their permits will be revoked, reports said.
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