Many of you have seen the commercials on television trying to sell us on the safety of fracking, the name for drilling for natural gas deposits deep beneath the ground.
In the last 10 years and more, the oil and natural gas industries has joined two technologies together: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, to be able to retrieve newly found supplies of fossil fuels buried in underground rock formations all across the United States. This “fracking” has spread rapidly, including our neighbor Pennsylvania, leaving behind an environmental mess: a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes. In fact, according to Environment New Jersey, a growing body of data indicates that fracking could well be an environmental and public health disaster in the making.
The powerful natural gas industry, its lobbyists and its allies in Trenton are pushing through environmental policies that would expose the Delaware River, and all our landscapes, to the dangers of natural gas drilling, especially the millions of gallons of waste it produces. Environment New Jersey has been organizing a campaign to stop the Garden State from becoming a dumping ground for the fracking waste, and to stop the drilling for natural gas from contaminating our drinking water, polluting our air, destroying beautiful lands and threatening our health.
Not all that surprisingly, Gov. Chris Christie just vetoed legislation that would protect New Jerseyans from dangerous gas drilling. But if we act now, we can get our legislators to override the veto and keep New Jersey free from fracking waste.
This summer, faced with 1.3 billion gallons of fracking waste generated next door in Pennsylvania, Environment New Jersey built support for a bill banning fracking waste from entering our state. The measure passed overwhelmingly, including a bipartisan vote of 30-5 in the state Senate. Gov. Christie had a chance to stand up for our waterways, but he didn’t. Instead he vetoed the bill, which is just what the gas industry wanted.
We need our legislators in the Assembly and Senate to override the governor's veto.
Fracking wastewater is nasty stuff – laced with toxins like benzene, heavy metals, and even radioactive chemicals like radon. It has contaminated drinking water sources from Pennsylvania to New Mexico.
The Delaware River should be protected for this generation and all future generations. The Delaware is a beautiful river that provides drinking water for millions – and we should not allow fracking, this hazardous method of gas drilling, anywhere near its waters or tributaries.
Gas drilling is dirty and dangerous. According to Environment New Jersey, gas drilling has been shown to pollute drinking water sources, destroy public lands and scar the landscape. It would pollute the Delaware River and its drinking water. However, Gov. Chris Christie has said he supports gas drilling in the Delaware Basin. We need to ban gas drilling in New Jersey and in the Delaware River basin.
If you have been to the Delaware Water Gap, have gone canoeing on the river or hiking along its banks, you know what’s at stake.
Even if you have never been to that part of the Delaware River, you might be one of the 3 million New Jersey residents who get their drinking water from the Delaware and its tributaries. There’s no reason that we should allow natural gas drilling, and its huge rigs, miles of pipelines and cesspools of toxic waste near our drinking water sources.
And why should southern New Jersey care? If Gov. Christie can support bad environmental policy with regards to fracking, then he could support bad environmental policy here in South Jersey. New Jersey's environment is crucial to our tourism industry.
We need to send the message to our leaders that New Jersey and the country needs a new energy policy that is not based on burning fossil fuels. We need new ideas and new thinking that puts our environment first.
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