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Vermont Bans Fracking

May 17, 2012

(CNN) — Vermont’s governor has signed a bill making it the first U.S. state to ban fracking, the controversial practice to extract natural gas from the ground.

“This is a big deal,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday. “This bill will ensure that we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy.”

Shumlin said fracking contaminates groundwater and the science behind it is “uncertain at best.” He said he hopes other states will follow Vermont’s lead in banning it.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has unleashed a boom in energy production in the United States by allowing the extraction of oil and gas from shale rock. Supporters say it has reduced the country’s oil imports, boosted natural gas production and provided thousands of jobs.

Most major oil companies are now involved in shale oil and gas production, including Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP.

But the process has also raised fears of ground water contamination and is suspected of causing mild earthquakes.

Fracking involves injecting water, sand and some chemicals deep into the earth to crack shale rock, which frees oil and gas. Critics fear the chemicals are seeping into the groundwater.

One Comment leave one →
  1. pak152 permalink
    May 22, 2012 2:29 pm

    “BANNING hydraulic fracturing in Vermont? That’s like banning offshore drilling in Oklahoma. And we don’t mean “offshore” in our man-made lakes.

    Vermont, which is 9,615 square miles surrounded by reality, is poised to ban fracking indefinitely even though the state has no exploration activity for which fracking would be an issue. Better safe than soggy with the supposed ill effects from fracking, right?

    Read more:

    “Vermont’s ban will have little to no immediate effect here, as there is no drilling taking place, none proposed and no solid information that Vermont has the underground gas to draw interest in fracturing. After signing the bill Wednesday, Shumlin conceded that this made enacting a ban easier here than it would be in states where land has been leased and drilling operations are in place. ”

    “Shumlin said fracking contaminates groundwater and the science behind it is “uncertain at best.””

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