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Governor Signs Weak Fracking Moratorium

Date : Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:27:46 -0500

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: RELEASE: Governor Signs Weak Fracking Moratorium Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:00:31 -0500 From: Kate Millsaps <Kate.Millsaps_at_sierraclub.org> Reply-To: Kate.Millsaps_at_sierraclub.org To: Kate.Millsaps_at_sierraclub.org

/For Immediate Release/
January 17, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

*Governor Signs Weak Fracking Moratorium *

// Today Governor Christie signed a one year moratorium fracking despite substantial public outcry for a statewide ban.Earlier this year the Legislature passed a ban with overwhelming bipartisan support.Governor Christie conditionally vetoed that bill to a one year moratorium and the Legislature concurred with that veto last week.The moratorium will now go into effect for one year, doing virtually nothing to protect New Jersey's waterways from future drilling of natural gas in the Delaware River Basin.

"The Governor and the legislature undercut efforts to ban fracking in New Jersey by supporting a meaningless one year moratorium.Now the Governor has signed the bill, threatening the drinking supply for millions of New Jersey residents and potentially opening up a large area of north western New Jersey for fracking in the future," *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. * Outright banning fracking in New Jersey would have ensured cleaner water and protected forested ecosystems throughout the state.Now our environment and our drinking water are at risk. This potentially opens up the north western part of our state to drilling and the dangers of fracking.The Governor's weak one year moratorium does not adequately protect the people of New Jersey and our environment from the risks of fracking. What is known as the Halliburton Loophole exempts natural gas drilling from 7 major environmental laws including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Superfund Act. This loophole could threaten our environment and water supply for generations. If fracking comes to New Jersey it could destroy our state's critical water ways, water supply, streams and rivers.

"A one year moratorium is meaningless because gas companies will not even start to explore for gas and oil for years. A one year moratorium is a PR gimmick that does not protect the people of New Jersey instead takes the side of the gas and oil industry," *Jeff Tittel.* Currently drilling is underway in parts of Pennsylvania and will begin in the Delaware River Basin when the agency that oversees the region, the Delaware River Basin Commission, votes on draft natural gas regulations. It is only a matter of time until drilling for natural gas will begin in New Jersey making it utterly important that New Jersey residents are protected from the dangers of fracking. Fracking requires mixing millions of gallons of water with toxic chemicals including volatile organic chemicals like benzene, methyl benzene, formaldehyde, and others that are linked to cancer. There is no real regulatory authority to deal with the contaminated ground water that may be left behind, which could get in to streams or the aquifer. Many studies and reports have come out addressing the various environmental and public health problems associated with fracking. Not only does fracking pollute our water, but all that natural gas undermines our clean energy programs. New Jersey is number two in solar, but if we allow fracking we could undermine our efficiency programs and clean energy jobs by instead promoting pipelines through areas like Jersey City and the Highlands.

"We had 1,000 people come to Trenton to rally against fracking. We are going to keep pushing to get a ban billed past this year no matter what politicians may think. This is just the beginning of our efforts to protect New Jersey's waters from fracking," *Tittel said.*

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-01-17 14:27:46

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