THE Constitutional Council in France has thrown out a case brought by oil company, Schuepbach Energy, that looked to overturn the country's ban on 'fracking', or drilling, for shale gas.
The council said that the need to protect the environment was strong, ruling that the current ban was 'in accordance with the constitution'.
Schuepbach Energy, based in Dallas, Texas, had argued that the legislation blocking fracking had gone beyond its remit, with the current 'precautionary principle' requiring the technique to prove its safety.
But the French government rejected this, with a representative saying that the problems caused by fracking were known and strong enough to ensure the ban should stay in place.
Fracking, the process of pumping water, sand and chemicals into rock to release shale oil or gas, is accused of polluting the water table and even small earthquakes.
Related: Shale gas in France