Fracking Opposition Worldwide
A number of countries have taken action to curtail "seam gas fracking," yet the fight to permanently protect land, air and water from extreme fossil fuel extraction rages on. Here, an overview of the global state of fracking opposition, brilliantly compiled and regularly updated by Johnny Linehan at FrackingHell (UK).
Countries with a Ban or Moratorium
June 30, 2011: The French parliament voted to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Oct. 4 2012: France will maintain a ban on fracking until there is proof that shale gas exploration won’t harm the environment or “massacre” the landscape, President Nicolas Sarkozy said.
The new Minister of Ecology in Mr Hollande's Socialist government , Ms Brick, is fiercely against fracking and the opponents of fracking are asking that Parliamentary Bill 377 be put on the top of the stack for action.
Bulgaria has revoked a shale gas permit granted to US energy giant Chevron.
January 19, 2012: Bulgaria has become the second European country after France to ban exploratory drilling for shale gas using the extraction method called "fracking." Bulgarian MPs voted overwhelmingly for a ban on Wednesday, following big street protests by environmentalists.
May 17, 2012: Temporary Parliamentary Commission for study, analysis and discussion of best practices and regulatory solutions for exploration and mining has decided at its meeting today that the moratorium on exploration and extraction of shale gas has to drop some of the provisions. Environmentalists have threatened new protests. The Bulgarian minister of economy, Delyan Dobrev, commented on the adopted changes in the shale gas moratorium stating that ‘the moratorium shall remain, as long as the people are not properly assured that shale gas production does not pose a threat to them or the environment’.
May 16, 2012: In response to a petition that garnered the support of 50,000 residents concerned about the environmental impact of drilling, along with the criticism of several regional governors, Environment Minister Tomáš Chalupa (Civic Democrats) has said he will propose a moratorium on shale gas exploration for up to two years until clear rules for the sector are established.
South Africa’s Mining Minister Susan Shabangu has decided to extend the ban on the practice of hydraulic fracturing used to break through shale rock formations underground to tap once inaccessible gas reserves. The moratorium will last another six months, while the nation’s appointed team to investigate the safety of hydraulic ‘fracking’ continues its research.
May 8, 2012: Germany has apparently halted plans to use fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial method used to extract natural gas in difficult places to reach. According to Spiegal, Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen and Economy Minster Philipp Rosler have been sceptical of the process and have decided to oppose it for the time being.
The Czech Republic
May 11, 2012: The Czech Republic is considering a moratorium on fracking. The moratorium would last two years and would give the Czech environmental ministry time to determine what regulations should be in place for gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
The Canton of Fribourg has banned fracking.
Bomba, a tiny city in the south of Italy has refused a drilling project - drilling in Pantelleria Island, between Sicily and Tunisia, has also been stopped by a governement's decision
May 12, 2012: Minister For Energy Pat Rabbitte has reiterated that no hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for gas would take place in Ireland pending further “detailed scientific analysis and advice”.
Roscommon County Council unanimously support aban on fracking; Leitrim County Council voted for a moratorium on fracking; Clare County Council unanimously support a ban on fracking and unanimously voted to amend the county development plan; Donegal and Sligo: Ban on fracking
(16-01-2012) Sligo Borough Council supports the proposal from Clare County Council and Sligo County Council calling on the Government and the Minister for Communications, Energy and natural Resources to BAN the practice of fracking/hydraulic fracturing; Fermanagh District Council have also voted for a moratorium on fracking.
December 7, 2011: Northern Ireland's Assembly has voted for a moratorium on “fracking”, a method of extracting natural gas from shale, pending an environmental assessment. The Minster has still failed to enact the moratorium.
The United Kingdom
The British Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on. Supporters of the fracking technology – which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.
But The Independent newspaper has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK's reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract. Now senior coalition figures have agreed that shale gas has the potential to be deeply controversial without securing major benefits in lowering carbon emissions or reducing energy costs.
A court in the southern Dutch city of Boxtel recently ruled that a temporary planning for an exploratory borehole was invalid. THe judge ruled that exploratory wells are by definition not temporary – if gas is discovered the intention is to extract it. This landmark ruling against UK fracker Cuadrilla sent shivers up the fracking industry’s spine – without the ability to secure temporary plannings it’s difficult to see how frackers can perform the exploratory testing required.
Marrickville Council in Sydney, unanimously voted on Tuesday 9/5/2012 to impose a condition prohibiting CSG mining from going ahead at the site as part of the development application.
April 14, 2012: "The Christchurch City Council has declared their city a ‘fracking-free zone’ in a unanimous vote this afternoon. “It is a very strong sign from the Council that we do not want fracking taking place in this city. “We hope that the strong stand we are taking is picked up by councils in other areas,” he says."
First Nations people in NW British Columbia enacted a four year moratorium against drilling for natural gas by Royal Dutch Shell in the Sacred Headwaters. Members of the Tahltan First Nation are blockading Shell’s coal bed methane project in the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers.
Nova Scotia citizens call for ban on Nova Scotia fracking. Graham Hutchinson says the province should impose a moratorium on the controversial practice. The group recently presented a petition to Energy Minister Charlie Parker calling for a ban.
March 17, 2011: Nathalie Normandeau, Quebec's natural resources minister, announced Wednesday that the province would no longer authorize hydraulic fracturing operations in the province in the hunt for oil and gas.
May 17, 2012: Vermont became the first state to ban the controversial natural gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Governor Peter Shumlin signed the ban into law Wednesday afternoon.
May 17, 2012: TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Legislature has accepted Gov. Chris Christie's recommendation for a one-year ban on a natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, rather than continue to pursue a permanent ban.
November 16, 2010: In a historic vote, the City of Pittsburgh today adopted a first-in-the-nation ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling in the city (Pittsburgh is finding it difficult to enact the ban because of 'variances' issued by the State's Public Utilities Commission overruling their decisions)
• Pittsburgh adopts the first-in-the-nation community rights ordinance which elevates the right of the community to decide, and the rights of nature over the “rights” associated with corporate personhood. The City Council unanimously adopted this ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.
• Lehman Township in Luzerne County PA NEVER passed a moritorium or ban, the township supervisors voted down CELDF ordinance to protect and preserve township land and water.
• The Board of Supervisors for Licking Township, Clarion County, PA, voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt an ordinance banning corporations from dumping “fracking” wastewater in the township. The Licking Township Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance is the first ordinance of its kind adopted in Pennsylvania to confront the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling.
• Cresson has enacted legislation banning fracking.
• Washington Township has banned fracking.
• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council unanimously passed the pro-moratorium Resolution on Marcellus Shale Drilling Environmental and Economic Impacts.
• The Borough Council of West Homestead, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that enacts a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights. The bill, titled “West Homestead Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance; establishes specific rights of West Homestead residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.
• Philadelphia refuses to purchase Marcellus Shale gas as the dumping of flow back waters is polluting their water supply.
• Collier Township upgraded its natural gas drilling ordinance to enhance their Marcellus Shale ordinance that would push drillers farther away from schools and provide baseline measurements for noise levels at drilling sites.
• United Methodists representing 950 churches across central and Northeast Pennsylvania passed a resolution calling for a temporary halt in gas well drilling in the Marcellus Shale as well as an impact tax on those places where drilling already has taken hold.
• Religious groups such as the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia have advocated against fracking and in April, 2011, America, the national magazine of the Jesuits editorialized very critically about the process.
• Baldwin Borough Council adopted a community rights ordinance that bans the corporate extraction of natural gas.
June 6, 2011: Morgantown City Council went ahead on Tuesday evening with its proposed ban on fracking concerning the drilling of Marcellus Shale. The council approved the first reading of the ordinance which would prohibit fracking in the city and within one mile of the city limits as well.
August 15, 2011: On Friday, Monongalia County Judge Susan Tucker ruled Morgantown's ordinance to be invalid, clearing the way for Northeast to resume drilling. In the court's opinion, Tucker said the state had exclusive control of regulation. Tucker also noted strides made by the state to implement comprehensive rules for drilling.
• Wellsville has banned fracking.
• Lewisburg has banned fracking within their city limits.
• Morgantown banned fracking in the city and within one mile of the city limits as well.
New York State
• Two legislative bills on hydrofrack drilling were considered by the legislature. The Assembly passed an extension of the current moratorium through June of 2012. The Senate did not act on a parallel bill and the issue is closed for the present.
• NYS Executive Order calling for a drilling moratorium by former Governor Paterson has been affirmed by Governor Cuomo.
• Yates County resolution unanimously passed calls for similar protection treatment of their watershed as that in NYC and Syracuse watersheds.
• The Town of Jerusalem (Yates) enacted a moratorium ordinance for their entire township. The one-year moratorium begins when the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) relating to the extraction of natural gas by the process of high-volume hydraulic fracturing now under review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is finalized.
• The Town of Milo is drawing up a moratorium statement for board action.
• Dewitt, Tully, Marcellus and Skaneateles have enacted moratoria laws.
• Highland, (Sullivan Co) is developing a moratorium statement.
• Buffalo has banned hydrofrack drilling and wastewater disposal in their city.
• Sullivan County is the first county in New York State to enact a moratorium.
• Lumberland (Sullivan Co) is considering a moratorium statement.
• Town of Ulysses is establishing “industrial zones” attempting to restrict the negative impact of drilling in their water supply.
• Tompkins County has enacted a ban on fracking on county land.
• Broome County: Ban on hydrofracking on county lands. Waste restrictions for fracking cuttings and flow back water established.
• Ontario, Sullivan and Onondaga Counties have enacted bans on fracking on county owned land.
• Ulster County has banned hydrofrack drilling on county owned lands.
• Gorham in Ontario County enacted a moratorium ordinance.
• The towns that ring Cooperstown's reservoir, Otsego Lake -- Middlefield, Otsego, Butternuts, and Cherry Valley -- are moving to ban or restrict natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
• Springfield has adopted local laws prohibiting heavy industry, including gas drilling.
• The Medical Society of the State of New York has gone on record supporting a moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing.
• Cooperstown’s Chamber of Commerce has issued a position statement supporting a total ban on fracking due to the impact it will make on their watershed, farming and tourism.
• A group of residents have launched a petition drive designed to ban the use of high-volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing in the Town of Caroline, Tompkins County.
• The Village of Penn Yan will not accept any hydrofracking wastewater for processing at the village wastewater treatment plant.
• New York City has called on the US Congress to remove hydrofrack drilling’s exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act.
• The Skaneateles Town Board has initiated plans for a ban in their township.
• The Otsego County Planning Board approved changes to Middlefield's master plan and zoning law that would specifically prohibit heavy industry, including gas and oil drilling.
• The Board of Trustees of Bassett Medical Center, based in Cooperstown, New York, views the issue of hydrofracking as a public health issue of the highest priorityand resolves that the hydrofracking method of gas drilling constitutes an unacceptable threat to the health of patients, and should be prohibited until such time as it is proven to be safe.
• A consortium of interested citizens is planning for a unified moratorium and eventual ban of hydrofrack drilling in the entire Keuka Lake watershed region. To date the towns of Barrington, Milo and Jerusalem have adopted ordinances on a moratorium. Wayne has prepared a resolution for consideration.
• Lebanon town board members adopted a memorializing resolution that calls on the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to repeal and reform compulsory integration laws in the State of New York that currently govern natural gas development.
• A petition drive has resulted in the Dryden Town Board unanimously passing a resolution to move forward with an ordinance to ban fracking.
• The Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc. has sued the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York State Supreme Court to declare High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State Forests contrary to the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.
• The Otsego Town Board clarified a long-standing prohibition against heavy industry, including fracking for natural gas, in the town's land use law. By this vote the town, which includes most of the Village of Cooperstown, reaffirmed its home rule right to prohibit drilling through local ordinance. They also approved revisions to its land-use law that strengthen a ban on gas drilling and hydrofracking within the town. The law now specifies that while the removal of gravel, rock, stone, sand, fill, topsoil or "unconsolidated" minerals has been allowed, extraction of natural gas and petroleum is not permitted.
• The Common Council of Oneonta voted to ban all forms of natural gas drilling in city limits.
• The Town of Wales adopted a community rights ordinance that bans “fracking.” The ordinance establishes a Bill of Rights for Wales residents and “recognizes and secures certain civil and political rights of the residents to govern themselves and protect themselves from harm to their persons, property and environment.”
• The exploration of land for natural gas by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is prohibited in the Town of Camillus.
• Brighton became the first municipality in Monroe County to take a position on hydrofrack drilling calling for a state-wide moratorium.
• Kirkland has adopted a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking.
• New Hartford has adopted a six-month moratorium on hydrofrack drilling for natural gas.
Buffalo, New York
February 8, 2011: The city of Buffalo, New York, banned the natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing on Tuesday, a largely symbolic vote that demonstrates concern about potential harm to groundwater from mining an abundant energy source.The city council voted 9-0 to prohibit natural gas extraction including the process known as "fracking" in which chemicals, sand and water are blasted deep into the earth.
• A class-action lawsuit has been filed against companies that drill for natural gas in central Arkansas. The suit is asking for millions of dollars in relation to the earthquakes associated with the fracking process the companies use. The damages enumerated in the suit are property damage, loss of fair market value in real estate, emotional distress, and damages related to the purchase of earthquake insurance.
Arkansas has a ban on 4 out of more than 500 frack fluid waste-water injection wells because of their 4.7/9 earthquake.
• The first community in Maryland, Mountain Lake Park, adopted an ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling.
• Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has sent a letter to Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliates, notifying the companies of the State of Maryland's intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
• Governor Martin O'Malleyhas signed an executive order for a three year moratorium on drilling in MD while studies continue.
• The New Jersey Assembly voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in NJ in a bipartisan overwhelming vote (58 to 11, 8 abstained), following the landslide vote 32-1 earlier in the day by the NJ Senate. New Jersey is the first state legislature to ban fracking.
• Wellsburg City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in or within one mile of the city as concerns mounted about the city's water being contaminated by procedures in hydrofrack drilling. A reservoir serving the city is beside property that Chesapeake Energy is leasing for drilling.
• George Washington National Forest has disallowed horizontal drilling for natural gas within its 1.1 million acres of territory while opening up segments of the forest to the potential for wind energy construction.
• Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill requiring drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting oil and gas from dense rock formations, the first state to pass such a law.
For the most current list, please go to: