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British Green lawmaker cleared over fracking protest

Britain's only Green Party lawmaker vowed to pursue her fight against fracking after being cleared Tuesday of two offences at a protest against the fossil fuel extraction technique. Caroline Lucas was found not guilty by a judge at Brighton Magistrates Court in Sussex, southern England, of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence. Four co-defendants were also cleared. "We are pleased that the court upheld our right to peacefully protest against fracking. Protest is the lifeblood of democracy," Lucas said.

Green party British lawmaker cleared of criminal charges stemming from anti-fracking protest

LONDON - Britain's only Green Party lawmaker has been acquitted of charges stemming from her participation in a protest against shale gas extraction. Caroline Lucas was arrested in August after she and other demonstrators linked arms outside a fracking site near the southern English village of Balcombe. She was charged with obstructing a public highway and a public order offence. Lucas and four others were acquitted Thursday at Brighton Magistrates' Court.

SWN Resources proposing test wells in New Brunswick, but no fracking for now

FREDERICTON - The company at the centre of a fracking controversy in New Brunswick said Wednesday it hopes to drill four test wells next year that will help determine the location of shale gas deposits in Queens and Kent counties. If the project is approved, SWN Resources Canada said the vertical holes, known as stratigraphic test wells, would extend several thousand metres below the surface in Pangburn, Bronson, Galloway and Lower Saint-Charles.

SWN Resources proposing test wells in New Brunswick, but no fracking for now

FREDERICTON - The company at the centre of a fracking controversy in New Brunswick said Wednesday it hopes to drill four test wells next year that will help determine the location of shale gas deposits in Queens and Kent counties. If the project is approved, SWN Resources Canada said the vertical holes, known as stratigraphic test wells, would extend several thousand metres below the surface in Pangburn, Bronson, Galloway and Lower Saint-Charles.

France's Total says dropped shale gas licence in Poland

French oil giant Total said Monday it has decided not to renew its only shale gas exploration licence in Poland, the latest setback in the country's efforts to grow the sector. Several other big-name energy firms have already stopped exploring for shale gas in the EU member, which has been championing its reserves in an effort to ensure energy independence from Russia. Warsaw has long sought ways to guarantee its energy security but the desire is now all the more urgent given the East-West standoff over the Ukraine crisis.

France's Total drops shale gas exploration in Poland

French oil giant Total has abandoned efforts to explore for shale gas in Poland, the country's environment ministry said Monday, amid controversy over the energy source in Europe. "Their exploration licence expired on April 1 and Total has not requested a renewal," ministry spokesman Pawel Mikusek told AFP, without giving a reason for the decision. He said it was Total's only licence in Poland, for a field in the east of the country. Total Poland declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Romanian villagers take on Chevron over shale gas

US energy major Chevron, shielded by barbed wire, under police protection and under fire from egg throwers, is in trouble in Romania with villagers angry at its drive to drill for shale gas. Opposition is fierce in the tiny remote village of Pungesti near the border with Moldova which has become a symbol of hostility to the environmentally controversial techniques of extracting shale gas. "In other countries, I have not experienced this type of protest", said grim-faced drill site-manager for Chevron, Greg Murphy.

Romanians protest against Chevron fracking plans

Thousands took to the streets of Romania on Sunday to protest against plans by US energy giant Chevron to drill for shale gas. "Chevron US, you can't just drop in uninvited and leave death in your wake", read some banners in Bucharest where hundreds of people gathered in the capital's University square. Similar protests were held in dozens of towns and cities across Romania. "Hydraulic fractures never heal", said protesters referring to the highly controversial drilling method used to unlock shale gas, called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking".

Obama says free trade deal would lower Europe's dependence on Russia for gas exports

BRUSSELS - A trans-Atlantic free trade deal would allow the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and strengthen its ability to stand up to Moscow on issues like Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday. Several of the 28 EU nations regret their heavy dependence on Russian gas now that they are seeking to punish Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

UK's Cameron wants more fracking after Crimea 'wake-up call'

By William James THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should top Europe's political agenda, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, calling the Crimea crisis a "wake-up call" for states reliant on Russian gas. Escalating East-West tensions over Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine have endangered the energy security of some European states, including Germany, who are heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies.
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