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EU issues framework for shale gas exploitation

The European Commission issued Wednesday a recommendation to ensure that proper environmental safeguards are in place the controversial technique of "fracking" is used to tap shale gas reserves. With a number of European countries looking to begin drilling for shale gas, the Commission said it was responding to calls for "minimum principles ... to address environmental and health concerns and give operators and investors the predictability they need," said Environment Commssioner Janez Potocnik. bmm-rl/hd

Tax breaks for fracking firms as UK goes 'all out for shale'

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday promised tax breaks worth millions of pounds to local councils who encourage shale gas development, declaring the country was going "all out for shale". Cameron announced that local authorities in England will collect all of the tax collected from shale gas sites -- double the current 50 percent figure. The government calculates that this could be worth up to £1.7 million ($2.8 million, 2 million euros) a year for a typical site.

British PM urges EU to cut shale gas red tape

British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso that the continent risks being left behind in the shale gas revolution unless red tape is cut, the Times reported Tuesday. In a letter to Barroso, seen by the paper, Cameron said new EU legislation was "a major cause for concern" and insisted that the shale gas industry could be regulated "in a safe and sustainable manner." "There is clearly merit in providing additional clarity on how the existing comprehensive EU legislative framework applies to shale gas," he wrote.

MEPs: shale gas projects require environment impact study

Extracting shale oil and gas reserves through controversial 'fracking' will in future require an environmental impact study, European lawmakers agreed Wednesday, despite opposition this will add to costs and hurt jobs. "Despite pressure from the oil and gas lobby, and from some member states, exploration and exploitation of shale (resources) will be subject to the requirement," said French Green Euro MP Sandrine Belier. "This is a real advance," Belier said, while another French MEP Corrine Lepage claimed: "For once, the general interest has won out."

Archeologists discover ‘gate to hell' in Pamukkale

Italian archeologists have announced their discovery of a “gate to hell” while excavating the ruins of a temple associated with the Roman god Pluto in Pamukkale, in the southwestern province of Denizli.Speaking to Discovery News, archeologists explained that the gate, also known as Pluto's Gate, was seen as a portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology. It was once located in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis.
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