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Spain amends environmental rules to encourage energy development

On December 11, 2013, the Spanish government amended its environmental rules to address the development of shale resources and to limit the environmental review process to six months. Spain’s review process often took three, four or five years to complete a final environmental impact statement. With the shortening of the review process period to six months (four months for review, with the possibility for a two-month extension), Spain hopes to encourage energy companies to develop its resources. While not endorsing hydraulic fracturing, the central government sends a signal that it is willing to consider the process in an objective, timely, … Continue Reading

Spain Bans Hydraulic Fracturing in Cantabria Region

Earlier today, in an unanimous vote and supported by a strong social movement, lawmakers in Spain’s northern Cantabria region voted to ban hydraulic fracturing on environmental concerns about risks to drinking water. A coalition of Spain’s three parties led by the majority ruling People’s Party joined forces to pass the ban. While the People’s Party in Cantabria favors the complete ban of hydraulic fracturing in the region, due to local citizens’ concerns, on the national level this party supports hydraulic fracturing, believing that the development of shale gas would transform Spain’s economy at a time when the country is struggling … Continue Reading