Possibilities and conditions for a new form of extractive activity in the Lorraine coal basin (France)

Authors: Michel Deshaies*, Université de Lorraine, Yann Beauloye, Université de Lorraine, Yann Gunzburger, Université de Lorraine
Topics: Economic Geography, Environmental Perception, Energy
Keywords: economic geography, coal basin, coal-gas, territorial integration
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The decline of coal mining in western Europe since the 1960s has led to a deep crisis in the coalfields, whose economy, which was highly specialized in mining activities, has been difficult to reconvert. One of the consequences of this development is that the European coal basins are regions in demographic decline, going through economic difficulties which explain high unemployment rates. The Lorraine coal basin, whose last mine closed its doors in 2004, is representative of this situation. This region is now the object of a new coal-gas project which could boost economic activity but whose feasibility must be demonstrated. This depends partly on international economic factors (changes in the price of gas). But the success of the project is also largely determined by local factors, such as potential economic benefits. The proper appropriation of the project by local elected officials and technicians, as well as their association with the process, are also essential to the valorization of such a project. The communication will report on the results of a field survey conducted with local actors in order to assess the possibilities and conditions for integration into the territory of this new form of extractive activity. It will integrate the results of two multidisciplinary research projects on this new coal-gas extraction project.

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