Spanish Congressional committee calls for gov’t suspension of ‘fracking’ permits, pending review

Anti-fracking activists in StopFracking2015 protests, September 2015. Photo: Castellón Digital
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• Measure would require full vote of Congress, Senate to take effect •

A Spanish Congressional committe has made a first move toward prohibiting the government from issuing permits for the use of controversial hydraulic fracturing technologies, known as “fracking”, in the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas reserves in Spain.

The measure approved by the Industrial Committee of Spain’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday was introduced by Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and passed by a vote of 22-16 with the support of the Socialist party (PSOE), Podemos, Catalonia’s Democràcia i Llibertat party and the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV); the Partido Popular (PP) and Foro Asturias voted against, with Ciudadanos deputies abstaining.

Under the 2011-2015 PP government of acting President Mariano Rajoy, Spain issued more than 120 permits for fracking to oil and gas exploration companies. The measure approved by Congress’ Industrial Committee, which would require further approval by a full vote of Congress and approval by the PP-controlled Senate to take effect, calls on the government to freeze all future fracking operations and to suspend permits already issued pending a full review process.

► Read More in Spanish at El Diario and El Periódico …

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