The Czech Republic proposed to ban shale-gas exploration until at least mid-2014 as it prepares laws to regulate the technology’s effect on the environment.
The moratorium is expected to begin in the middle of October after it’s approved by the government, Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa said on the ministry’s website.
“The current law doesn’t adequately cover the entire process of unconventional gas mining,” he said. Laws should reflect “technologies and their impact on the environment.”
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping water mixed with sand and chemicals underground at pressure to free hydrocarbons trapped in shale rock. While the U.S. has used the method to become the largest natural-gas producer, France and Bulgaria have banned the technology because of environmental concerns. Exxon Mobil Corp. pulled out of exploration in Poland after two wells failed to find commercially viable gas reserves.
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