Fracking has been banned in Vermont, is time running out for the fracking industry?
The controversial drilling process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, brought about an economic boom for the oil and natural gas industry. It also has been linked to air pollution, toxic waste and contaminated drinking water that literally can be ignited when coming out of a household faucet. This is where the debate heats up; industry leaders say the process creates jobs, energy independence and tax revenues. The opponents argue that while each of those items may be true, the environmental impact is simply too high, as clean air and water are required for life to exist, jobs and money are not. With the recent statewide fracking ban in Vermont passed into law, it seems as though the environmentalist area making headway against the dirty drilling techniques.
Vermont is the first state to pass a law banning fracking, until now only about 96 towns in New York have been able to stop the practice and New Jersey has a one year moratorium in place. With over 1000 reports of contaminated drinking water and potential earthquake activity linked to fracking, Vermont hopes its new law will be model for other states to adopt. Governor Shumlin was quick to note that “human beings survived for thousands and thousands of years without oil and natural gas” and went on to state that “we have never known humanity or life on this planet to survive without clean water.”
The ban in Vermont is largely symbolic, since Vermont has very little natural gas deposits underground. Industry advocates question the motives of the ban considering Vermont is a consumer of the oil and natural gas produced from fracking in other states, such as Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. A report by Steve Maley, on a known conservative website, poked fun at the law by writing “I am going to contact my legislator to get a ban on harvesting maple syrup in Louisiana as a kind of retaliation.”
Only about 1 percent of the water on Earth safe for drinking, because of this we must rethink our actions and work to conserve water. Governor Shumlin summed this up well when he said “in the coming generation or two, drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas.” With our capabilities surrounding renewable energy increasing and clean water decreasing, a plan that involves polluting our precious resources just won’t last. Hopefully, other states will catch up with similar laws, until then do your part and raise awareness on what greed is doing to our planet.
Watch Vermont’s Governor Speak About the Ban