The Vermont Senate passed a ban on hydrofracking recently, but the House still needs to vote on it. If they also pass it, Vermont will be the first state in American to ban fracking.
“It brings Vermont one step closer to becoming the first state in the nation to ban the dirty and dangerous practice of fracking. This is exactly the kind of leadership that is needed on this issue,” said the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. The bill also prohibits collecting, storing and treatment of fracking wastewater.
Some have said passing a fracking ban in Vermont is not that big of an issue, because there aren’t many natural gas reserves there. Others have pointed out lobbying by the oil industry against the ban has been significant and a loss in Vermont by Big Oil might help fracking bans in other states.
Governor Shumlin said, “I do not think that Vermont should be a state where fracking happens, and whether it’s a moratorium or a ban, I’ll support the strongest legislation we can get.” (Source: Vpirg.org)
Fracking is suspected in many cases of water pollution, and it uses enormous amounts of water. A small earthquake in Ohio might have been caused by the pumping of vast quantities of water related to fracking.
Vermont historically has been progressive on environmental concerns. One of their key environmental
laws was the banning of billboards to preserve the visual beauty of the natural landscapes.
The documentary Gasland made by John Fox was one of the first mass media productions to call attention to the potential health impacts of fracking.
Image Credit: chensiyuan, Wiki Commons