MADRID Jan 24 Spain's central government will
file a legal challenge in the country's Constitutional Court to
a fracking ban in the region of Cantabria, it said on Friday.
The central government will argue it has jurisdiction in the
matter and that Cantabria's ban violates the national law on
hydrocarbons, according to published resolutions from Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy's weekly cabinet meeting.
Spain's parliament in November passed an environmental
impact law that could open the door to hydraulic fracturing or
fracking, a controversial method of extracting shale gas that
has not been used up to now in the country.
The method has been banned in France and Bulgaria and
lawmakers in the northern region of Cantabria unanimously voted
in April to prohibit it on environmental grounds.
Spain imports almost all of its hydrocarbon needs and hopes
to develop a potential shale gas field that stretches across the
north of the country, from Galicia to the Basque Country,
passing through the small region of Cantabria.
This week the European Commission revealed its 2030 energy
strategy without barriers to exploring non-conventional, or
(Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Writing by Fiona Ortiz;
Editing by Mark Potter)