Skip to comments.Christie vetoes bill and calls for 1 year moratorium on fracking while state studies the issue
Posted on 08/25/2011 2:09:07 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Issuing a one-year moratorium on "fracking," Gov. Chris Christie today issued a conditional veto of S-2576, recommending changes to the legislation that balances protecting New Jerseys environment and drinking water and encouraging cleaner energy alongside the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
As currently written, S-2576 would permanently prohibit fracking in New Jersey, a drilling technique used for the exploration or production of natural gas, even as concurrent studies on the practice are underway by the federal government and no known natural gas deposits necessitating use of the fracking process have been proposed for development in New Jersey.
I share many of the concerns expressed by the legislators that sponsored this bill and the environmental advocates seeking a permanent moratorium on fracking. We must ensure that our environment is protected and our drinking water is safe, said Christie. I am placing a one-year moratorium on fracking so that the DEP can further evaluate the potential environmental impacts of this practice in New Jersey as well as evaluate the findings of still outstanding and ongoing federal studies.
The governor's office said the legislature pushed the fracking bill at the same time that two federal agencies the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Department of Energy (USDOE) were studying the environmental impact of fracking.
While the USDOE issued preliminary recommendations over the past two weeks outlining immediate steps that can be taken to improve the safety and environmental performance of shale gas development, including the development of best practices, a final report by the USDOE is not expected until November 2011 and the preliminary findings of USEPAs study are not expected to be released until 2012, according to the governor's office.
The potential environmental concerns with fracking in our state must be studied and weighed carefully against the potential benefits of increasing access to natural gas in New Jersey," said Christie. "The decision on whether to ban fracking outright or regulate it for environmental protection must be developed on the basis of sound policy and legitimate science, continued the Governor. Therefore, while I share many of the concerns expressed by those who support this legislation, I believe that a one-year moratorium on fracking in New Jersey while the issue is studied by the USDOE, USEPA, and NJDEP is the most prudent, responsible, and balanced course of action.
Enviros were quick to condemn the governor's actions, saying Christie had sided with big business over the people of the state.
Governor Christie would rather take the side of big oil and gas companies over the drinking water of the people of New Jersey. A one year moratorium is meaningless because they will not explore for gas and oil until after that. Whether he does a study or regulations 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, said Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club.
Tittel said the vetoed bill would have ensured cleaner water and protected forests statewide. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and toxic chemicals deep underground to break up dense rock formations and release natural gas. According to Tittel the process can pollute water supplies when fracking chemicals can leak into underground wells or when accidents spill the fluids into rivers or streams.
Tittle said over 1,000 cases of water contamination have been reported near fracking sites.
"A study released by researchers at Duke University in April found methane levels in shallow drinking water wells near active gas drilling sites at a level 17 times higher than those near inactive ones. Similarly, a 2011 Cornell University study found that the process of fracking releases methane, which according to the EPA, is 21 times more damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide," a release from teh Sierra Club said.
Since this bill passed overwhelmingly in both house we need to call on the legislature to override this conditional veto. They need to stand up for the drinking water and open spaces for people of New Jersey, said Tittel.
The more I see of Cristie the more I’m sure he may never be ready for prime time.
They need to ban fracking in New Jersey and New York, they have a good tax base why drill there when they can drill in Texas!!!!! We like those jobs and the water taste just fine. Only problem is we need a little rain...Them blasted oil companys are going to drill everywhere and drive the price of natural gas and oil down...hurray for New Jersey...lol
I’ll cut him a little slack on this issue. If a fair and honest technical evaluation is made, I’m sure it will show there’s no risk to drinking water from fracking, and then he’ll have all the evidence he needs to throw the whole thing out. It may be part of a strategery because a lot of the anti-fracking stuff is based on Algore-like “science”, and maybe Christie is playing the long game here.
You have a point. If those bastards aren’t freezing in the dark they tend to get out of hand.
Oh, boy. He is really going out on a limb. There ain’t one producing well in the entire state of New Jersey (nor will there ever be - famous last words) and the closest production is over 300 miles away in Pennsylvania.
The evidence is in already. Texas has been fracking wells for well over a decade with no ill effects from it. North Dakota is fracking like crazy in the Bakken, Pennsylvania in the Marcellus, Louisana in the Hayneville, etc. etc. etc. Christie is an east coast ‘conservative’ otherwise known as RINO.
He loves the attention and great press from the liberal MSM media, but is his views on global warming and taxes are way to the left of most of the conservatives in this country. He had a great week, raising tolls and banning fracking.
I won't. Fracking has been studied to death, both by the federal government (which surprisingly found it safe) and by numerous states. I admire Christie for reining in state spending, but I don't think he knows any more about business than Obama.
He is a lawyer, after all.
New Jersey Sierra Club/democrats going nuts for no good reason.
Seems like a reasonable course of action to me.
His heftness is for all for Muzzies judging Americans but is against another source of domestic energy. As Rick Perry said, "Adios..."
A hundred years ago oil operators exploded nitroglycerin in shallow wells in Pennsylvania. Drake’s well in 1859 found oil at 70 ft. Guess the area is uninhabitable after 150 years of oil operations.
my thoughts exactly - let them heat their homes with coal oil and high dollar electric from WIND. Don’t let them have natural gas furnaces.
I own seven acres in frack-land NY. I haven’t been approached by any gas company, probably because they were just starting to get out to that area when NY put the brakes on.
While I like the idea of fracking, there have been big issues. Roads, streams, ponds - all negatively impacted wherever the fracking takes place. As in destroyed.
There are quite a few families in frack-zones that have had their water sources permanently polluted. Some can actually light the kitchen sink faucet, and it flames up real nice.
Are these nice trade-offs? Well, not if you’ve been assured it could NOT happen. And since the frack companies refuse to admit that the chems and processes used are responsible for the changes, they claim that “it has never been shown or proven” to be a problem.
Since they did not admit any responsibility, they can legally make that claim. And just to be nice, although they have no responsibility, morally or legally to do so, they provide those families with bottled drinking water for the rest of their lives.
I heard the most outrageous nonsense today on the local radio talk show. Some pro-frack guy was strumming the harp strings of happiness and goodwill while mentioning all the wonderful things that fracking will do “for the community”....
Yes, like kids will suddenly have college money. (Maybe-but only the VERY few whose parents own large parcels) (and didn’t get screwed in the early negotiations), and if there are people in need in the community, the gas company (angles began to strum harps again here) would help them all. Yes, this man actually said that if a person down on his luck in the community couldn’t make his CAR PAYMENT, the gas companies would step up and help him out.
I was flat out disgusted listening to the guy. All I could think of was that woman who said she didn’t have to worry about paying her mortgage or putting gas in her car, cause obama was gonna take care of it for her.
Listen, if someone starts running around telling me that busting up the roads, draining streams and ponds dry, destroying generational wells, is all good because they will be paying some losers delinquent car payment, I gotta take a few seconds to think it all over.
Fracking hasn’t been studied in the way that it is presented. What you hear is only the side of the gas companies. I hope they can find some better chems to use, and tighten things up on how they operate, because I would love to see this work out. And I could use the cash!
As it stands now, I’m not a fan. Once these water sources are compromised, they can never be put right. That is my main concern.
Also, they are already talking about raising everyone’s property taxes because a very few people have made out well on the leases. That jackas* on the talk show claimed that the gas companies will come in and split the difference with the community if they see a tax increase -”due to increased property values because of gas leases”.
Sure, if the gas companies would ever admit that the reason was due to gas production, which won’t happen-ever! Shell games.
What a bunch of hooie!
Luckily for the rest of NY their Democrat Governor is on the fracking bandwagon, ready to bring good jobs to NY.
Here in PA it’s been fantastic. Now eastern Ohio smelting plants are being brought back online to provide the materials needed here in PA.
I’ve been saying for years that Christie is a moron when it comes to energy issues. Here he proves it once again.
I figure the only reason these politicians are against it is because the gas companies haven’t made it worth their while yet.
My concerns are mainly about the water sources being polluted. It has happened, and will continue to happen. If the gas companies would actually address that, instead of telling people it’s really a non-issue, then I be thrilled to have fracking move forward.
I’ve spoken with a lot of other landowners about this, and they are split 50/50. The folks without land to lease are roughly the same mix - the ones that even know about it.
One other thing we are concerned with is the future value of land that is fracked, but non-productive. Same goes with a property that has no lease yet has a rig sitting right on it’s property line.
I know a woman who has 120 acres of beautiful rolling hills and light forest. She signed a gas lease. She leased all but an acre that her crappy little house sits on. Now she wants to sell her property and move out of state. No one will even look at it - they don’t want to buy land if they have no mineral rights, no benefit from this fracking, and have to deal with the noise, destruction, etc., for however long the gas company is there. Since the house sits right in the middle of that big parcel, it is unsalable. And she didn’t even get a good offer from the gas company. But she was greedy and jumped right on the first offer, and is now wailing about how screwed over she feels and how worthless her property has become.
Well it’s true that despite the jobs and economic boom you get from energy development, you can’t trust an oil/gas company executive as far as you can throw em.
I’m in the “trust but verify” group myself, especially with water quality.
Moratoriums to placate the sierra club is just bad policy and sends the wrong message though.
We don’t need more study, we need transparent oversight.
So we’re not so far apart on this issue :)
I don’t see a real Veto. I see this lets throw money we don’t have and kick the can down the road moratorium. The left has no real proof relating fracking to earthquakes and the last time I heard the state needed jobs and money. That’s just too slick for me.
Anyway, it’s better that the investment is in flyover country, but I still can only name a couple of places outside New Jersey that the earth would be better served with an enema.
We have found here that even the “green groups” fade away once the gas companies hold “meetings” with them. Money is their language and the main concern of the special interest groups and pollys. But the pollys want continuing - ahem - benefits.
It’s the local landowners here who have worked hard for transparency, so far we aren’t getting any at all. Just hopey changey crap.
My main concern will always be the water. Our landscape can recover...over time.....but the water probably wouldn’t ever once it is polluted so far below ground. Almost all of our large parcel owners, and all of our rural land owners use drilled wells. There is no other source of water available to them.
The powers that be KNOW what is in the frack fluid, and they know it is absolutely toxic. My understanding is that the gas companies have other options, but this is the cheapest, so they don’t want to give up on it.
My property is junk - it’s soggy and covered with thick scrub with huge thorns. But it is private, covered with beautiful wildflowers and wild apple too, and stunning views. Great hunting there also. It is not something I ever plan to build on, and most of the acreage surrounding me is vacant, plus I’m backed by a huge parcel of state land. In other words, I wouldn’t lose a lot of the value in my acreage if it is fracked, cause it’s rather poor for building on.
If the state leases that parcel behind mine to be fracked, I can be COMPELLED to allow drilling under my parcel. They passed some kind of law. So, you see, they are going to allow it - once the right “agreement” is reached. It’s all in place.
I suspect and fear that they are working out the “eminent domain” angles.
There are no commercially viable recoverable hydraulic fracturing fields in New Jersey.
Don’t see the point of the law or the veto. Just showmanship.