Members of the upper house of the parliament have drafted legislation that would ban shale gas extraction in the Czech Republic using hydraulic fracturing, said one of its authors, Petr Pakosta of the center-right Civic Democrats (ODS). Earlier, the goverment had put forth a number of ammendents with the same aim – drafting a new law was seen as a simpler short cut, the news sever Novinky.cz reported Friday.
An environment ministry review commission has concluded that the ministry’s executive committee for the Hradec Kralové region made legal and procedural errors when it issued a provisional license for the exploration of shale gas in northeast Bohemia to BasGas Energia Czech. On the basis of these findings and following a meeting with local mayors, Environment Minister Tomáš Chalupa decided to cancel the exploration license.
Hundreds gathered on the main square of the northwest Bohemian town of Náchod on Tuesday morning to protest the planned exploration (and eventual extraction) of shale gas deposits in the region. Although the Czech Ministry of Environment has already issued a survey license to an Australian-owned company, a host of local municipalities have appealed the decision. Opponents say shale gas exploration poses a threat to water tables.