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New Jersey Assembly Committee Seeks to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing Before It Can Start

March 10, 2011

The lawmakers in new Jersey are asking important questions;

What is the environmental and health cost associated with natural gas?

“How crucial is relatively cheap natural gas to the state’s economic recovery?”

New Jersey lawmakers took action on a package of bills aimed at halting the practice of hydraulic fracturing.”

“In adopting a bill (A-3653) that would impose a moratorium in New Jersey on the practice, also known as “fracking,” the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee stopped short of a total ban on the drilling technology that many environmentalists had sought. The committee also passed a resolution urging Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York (although it already has a moratorium in place) to halt the practice.”

Updated: Lawmakers Declare New Jersey a No-Fracking Zone

The bill, voted on unanimously, outlawing hydraulic fracturing is clearly meant to send a message to the Governor Christie administration and to Pennsylvania officials.  “Senator Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), the sponsor, said he hopes it ‘sends a clear signal, the first signal as a state, that we have grave concerns’ about the process.”

“In the hearing, industry lobbyists argued against the prohibition, saying the Marcellus Shale offers plentiful and relatively cheap supplies of natural gas. ‘Shale gas has been a game changer for the chemical industry,’ said Ed Waters, director of government affairs for the Chemistry Industry Council of New Jersey.  But Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), the chairman of the committee, told Waters no one disputes the need for a cheap supply of energy, but noted New Jersey has 105 superfund toxic waste sites because industry failed to police itself in the past. ‘Don’t you believe we should worry about that with fracking?’ Smith asked.”

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