If signed into law by Governor Christie, a New Jersey’s law banning the practice of hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – will become the first such in the country. As noted previous by Blue Jersey, fracking is Halliburton’s proprietary method of extracting natural gas from underground shale deposits. It sounds great if you’re in the natural gas business, but not so much if you live near a fracking site; fracking contaminates underground water supplies and makes people sick. It can also make your tap water flammable.
In 2004, the EPA concluded that “the body of reported problems considered collectively suggest that water quality (and quantity) problems” could be linked to fracking. The documentary Gasland has brought the fracking and its implications into the mainstream. And perhaps most presciently, the measure to ban this practice passed the New Jersey State Senate 32-1 and the Assembly 56-11 with 8 abstentions. So far, Christie has yet to comment, let alone sign this measure into law.
Could the governor’s silence and inaction have anything to do with the letter he received from Energy In Depth? They’re a Washington front group backed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and various other Big Oil/Gas players. You know, just the kind of monied corporate masters Christie loves to please, as women, the disabled, AIDS patients and school children eat cake.
Because with conclusive scientific evidence of fracking’s dangers, acknowledged risks as noted by the EPA, and overwhelming support for the measure in the state legislature, it’s difficult to imagine any other reason for Christie’s silence.