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Spain seeks to overturn anti-fracking ban in La Rioja region

By Bob Downing Published: March 31, 2014

From Bloomberg News recently:

Spain's government will seek to overturn a ban on fracking in the wine-making region of La Rioja, relying in part on the European Union’s January guidelines for the drilling technique.

The cabinet voted today to file a constitutional challenge to La Rioja’s prohibition on the water-intensive method used to explore for oil and gas. The ban wrongly strips authority from the national government to regulate prospecting and runs contrary to Spanish law and preliminary EU rules that endorse fracking, the cabinet said today in a statement.

The decision widens a policy to wrest control from regional governments over fracking. The cabinet this year voted to appeal a similar ban on fracking in Cantabria, a region that like La Rioja is in the north and is relatively rich in water resources.

The central government began requiring environmental impact assessments on all fracking projects last year before deciding on permits for those that passed. It says allowing environmentally safe prospecting is necessary in a country dependent on oil and gas imports.

Wine has been cultivated for more than 1,000 years in La Rioja, which is home today to more than 500 vineyards including Marques de Riscal SA and Ramon Bilbao SA.

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.