In the European Union, each country is free to exploit shale gas. However, the member states must have “robust regulatory regimes”. It is the aim of the resolution approved* by The Energy Committee and the Environment Committee yesterday, at the European Parliament.All aspects of shale gas and shale oil are concerned. For the ‘licensing rules to be adequate, “a thorough analysis” of EU regulation on unconventional fossil fuels is needed, the Members of Parliament considered.

In a press release it is stated that “special plans for water use should accompany any fracking activities and as much water as possible should be recycled”, is included in the Environment Committee resolution. Also, “companies must disclose which chemicals are used to comply with EU legislation”. Martina Anderson welcomed the outcome of the vote. She is Sinn Féin MEP and member of the Environment Committee in Northern Ireland: “Given the associated risks with the process used to extract shale gas known as hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, it is baffling that a more robust system of regulation is not already in place. Local communities’ concerns regarding the environment and public health must outweigh any commercial and monetary incentives for large gas companies.”

* and not adopted, like it is written in the text. The resolution will be adopted by plenary in October.