Cantabria fracking ban thrown out

No ban: Spanish court tosses law banning fracking

Spain's Constitutional Court has thrown out a law against hydraulic fracturing for shale gas and oil in the northern region of Cantabria, saying the matter is up to the central government, according to a report.

Cantabria passed a law in April 2013 prohibiting exploration and production of oil and gas using fracking. The shale-gas exraction method has not been used in Spain, according to Reuters.

The central government contested the local law in the Constitutional Court, arguing it has jurisdiction in the matter and that Cantabria's ban violates the national law on hydrocarbons, the news wire reported.

"The Court found in favour of the central government's appeal, ruling that Cantabria's law infringed on the (central) state's powers," the court spokeswoman told Reuters.

Spain produces almost no oil and gas. The central government hopes to develop a potential shale gas field stretching from Galicia to the Basque Country, passing through the small region of Cantabria, in northern Spain.

Neighbouring France has banned fracking.

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