This Wednesday, June 29th, the NJ state legislator passed a bill that would ban fracking across the state. While many states and citizens have been fighting this gas drilling practice for some years now, NJ is on track to be the first state that would ban it outright.
Senator Bob Gordon says it best “Today, New Jersey sent a strong message to surrounding states and to the nation that a ban on fracking is necessary to protect public health and preserve our natural resources. Any benefits of gas production simply do not justify the many potential dangers associated with fracking such as pollution of our lakes, streams and drinking water supplies and the release of airborne pollutants. We should not wait until our natural resources are threatened or destroyed to act. The time to ban fracking in New Jersey is now.”
Opponents to fracking are heralding this as a tide turning move that will hopefully accelerate a clamp down on an industry that has been putting natural gas profits first and environmental impacts second. This is assuming NJ governer Chris Christie signs the bill into law, which is where it now lies.
Mind you, the energy companies are still yet to be required to disclose the chemicals contained in the fracking fluid they use for drilling. They claim it as a trade secret and thus are protected from providing any details. And let's not forget the small issue about these energy companies being exempt from seven major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act. As they say, one step at a time, and this is shaping up to be one powerful step for controlling the practice of fracking and thus protecting our waterways and environment from the pollution that this practice causes.