New Jersey environmentalists urge Gov. Christie to sign fracking ban

Environmentalists in New Jersey are urging Governor Christie to sign a bill to stop a controversial process for extracting natural gas.  

Doug O’Malley of Environment New Jersey says fracking needs to be completely banned, even though the Garden State doesn’t produce natural gas.

“The industry because it’s not particularly well regulated has had numerous accidents and the concern is we don’t know exactly it’s impact on impact on our drinking water supply and especially upon the larger Delaware River Basin,” said O’Malley.

There are large natural gas deposits in New York and Pennsylvania within the Delaware watershed.  O’Malley says the lopsided votes in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate should send a message to Governor Christie to ban the practice.

“This is a process where gas drillers blast literally millions of galloons of water sand and a witches brew of chemicals that we don’t even know what’s in there at a very high pressure speed into subsurface rock formations to release natural gas,” said O’Malley.

An industry group is urging Governor Christie to veto the fracking ban, saying it could spread to other states.  

The Pennsylvania Legislature is not expected to take action on fracking. New York officials are recommending no drilling in the watersheds that supply drinking water to New York City and Syracuse.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.