Science

French minister slams 'illegal' oil refinery blockades

French minister slams 'illegal' oil refinery blockades

French oil and gas major Total, which operates five refineries and nine petrol depots in France, said late on Sunday that farmers have gathered at two depots and it had taken measures together with authorities, to limit disruptions.

French farmers began a blockade of oil refineries and fuel depots on Sunday evening (10 June) over plans by Total to use imported palm oil at a biofuel plant, which have fanned farmer discontent over unfair competition. He said that the government is not going to backtrack on its decision to allow Total to use imported palm oil, and warned that the protest could not lead to any "adequate solutions".

He also denied the possibility of reverting the authorization given to Total to import palm oil, although he agreed to receive the guild representatives tomorrow.

Lambert called on Total to use more rapeseed.

Asked about the risk of fuel shortages due to the movement, the minister said "there will be no shortage of fuel".

Why Coutinho was pelted with eggs by Neymar and teammates
Brazil , who have won all four games this year without conceding a goal, also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E. The Selecao will be favourites to progress and with Neymar back fit and firing will believe anything is possible.

Total has invested 275 million euros ($324 million) to transform La Mede refinery into a plant that can make 500,000 tons of biodiesel per year.

"We're not against imports. but for consumers, we want the government to be consistent and apply the same rules to imports, otherwise French agriculture will disappear", said Samuel Vandaele of the Young Farmers' union outside a Total refinery southeast of Paris.

The farmers also have the support of environmental activists, and are hoping to rally support among consumers anxious about unfair competition stemming from free-trade accords, including the CETA deal between the European Union and Canada as well as ongoing talks with the European Union and South American Mercosur nations.

All in all, 16 sites were blocked on Monday, according to France's largest farm union FNSEA.

While the European Parliament has made a decision to ban palm oil imports by 2021, France recently gave the go-ahead for a biorefinery owned by Total, a move that prompted many critics. The refineries were still operating.


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