New Jersey legislature passes anti-fracking bill


The New Jersey Legislature has approved a bill that would establish a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, a longheld technique for extracting oil and gas from tight rock formations that environmental groups say poses a threat to groundwater supplies.

If signed by Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey would be the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the practice.

The move comes as the oil and gas industry is doing more drilling in tight shale rock formations from New York to Texas that were once thought too difficult to develop. Because the formations are so dense, oil companies use hydraulic fracturing — a process that involves injecting large quantities of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into a well — to crack open the rock and unlock oil and gas resources.

While industry says the practice has been safely used for more than 60 years, critics say it has never been used on the current scale, uses too much water, pollutes the air and could harm vital drinking water supplies.

Though industry is not yet drilling in New Jersey’s Utica Shale, legislators moved to ban hydraulic fracturing before it arrives in the state.

“We want to get this in place so that New Jersey will be off-limits,” New Jersey Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, a Democrat from Paramus and a sponsor of the measure, told Bloomberg News. “There are regulations in place and it’s not working. We are seeing one accident after another.”

At least 61 localities across the U.S. have passed measures against hydraulic fracturing, according to a count by environmental and consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch. 

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s signature is all that is necessary now for this critical and timely statewide ban to go into effect,” said Jim Walsh, eastern region director of the consumer advocacy group.

Brett Clanton

9 Responses

  1. charles stewart says:

    When reading an article about natural gas investigations I am reminded of chicken little.

  2. charles stewart says:

    In the future historians will wonder why during the early 21st century so many people believed in the fable of chicken little.

  3. bradley says:

    I hear dynamite is dangerous. I wonder if NJ will ban rock quarries next?

  4. ed boone says:

    Only a bankrupt state like NJ Could could ban an industry without facts that can provide enormous revenue to the state as well as much needed jobs. Its amazing we pay these people to represent us. Its also why industry does not invest in the state.

    Hopefully Goeverner Christie will veto this before new technology is evaluated.

  5. well now, I think it is time we stop “subsidising” New Jersey’s” low cost gas supply with a tarrif payble to each state that the gas travels from/to/through and it’s “frac-ing” origin: i.e. Texas, Louisiana, Gulf Coast “shore” speaking of shores, have you seen “Jersey Shores” – what a bunch of absolute Morons. I say let them all freeze in the hot tub next winter when they have no power….

  6. KB says:

    There’s a steel pipe that protects the water from the process…impossible to contaminate the water with it. Do those people read?

  7. Twangineer says:

    What a bunch of dopes! There is no proof that fracturing is harmful to the environment or people. These idiots won’t take time to do their diligence before acting. Just look at the number of jobs this “new” industry has created in Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc. In a time where jobs are scarce and money is tight, this may be the answer to many prayers — not stimulus money. Geez!

  8. g says:

    Locking your State out from future economic benefit is pure genious. Nice work!

  9. flash says:

    Hopefully Gov. Christie will veto this misguided legislation…