Assembly Panel Advances Fracking Ban Bill

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. February 11, 2013

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Opponents and supporters of fracking ban testify before Assembly Environment Committee (photo by Phil Gregory)

A bill to ban fracking in New Jersey has been advanced by a state Assembly committee.

Ed Waters with the Chemistry Council of New Jersey opposes the ban and says the gas from fracking should be embraced as a benefit to the economy.

“Access to inexpensive natural gas has led to a resurgence to the U.S. manufacturing economy and also it has been a game changer for our industry. We have seen jobs coming back to the U.S.”

Sara Bluhm with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says while current technology might not allow that type of gas drilling in the Garden State now, it should not be cut off for the future.

“We don’t want to see any limits on potential to lower the cost of business here in New Jersey or to bring future jobs here.”

Environmentalists say the chemicals from fracking could endanger the state’s water supplies.

Assembly Environment Committee chair Grace Spencer says a fracking ban makes sense until studies prove the process is safe.

“Yes natural gas is clean, abundant, the future, and is innovative, but none of that will matter if the people that are using it are sick and dying.”

Governor Chris Christie rejected the legislature’s previous attempt to ban fracking while awaiting federal studies on its safety.


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