WAMC News, North Country News
5:19 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Vermont Bans Hydrofracking

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the nation's first statewide ban on the natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed H.464 to ban the drilling method. Lawmakers had considered a moratorium, but after testimony and debate, moved a bill forward to ban the practice.  Governor Shumlin says it’s a critical move to protecting a critical resource.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council was one of the conservation groups pressing for the ban.  Spokesman Jake Brown calls the Governor’s signature, making the measure law, a proactive move to keep a dangerous practice out of the state.

American Petroleum Institute Spokesman Joe Choquette says they were comfortable with a moratorium, but opposed an outright ban.

The VNRC’s Jake Brown says the real impact of the state’s ban may be its influence on the overall fracking debate.

The Petroleum Institute’s Joe Choquette doesn’t think there will be any great impact outside of Vermont.

The ban took affect when the governor signed the bill.