Fracking is big business. Proponents say it will solve our energy problems while opponents say it will destroy our water supplies, our land, and our crops. I am an opponent, in case you didn’t already know, as I think it’s a terrible process frought with way too many negatives. Any pluses that could possibly come from fracking are far outweighed by all the dangers, in my opinion. If you’re interested, check out my piece over at the Virgin site What’s all the fuss about fracking? for a little more about it along with some terrifying facts.
While Rome burns, most places around the world are twiddling their thumbs when it comes to banning fracking. Oftentimes it’s because the oil and gas companies throw
good great money at them to let them drill as they please; it’s hard to turn down millions in revenue, especially in struggling communities. (Watch the Matt Damon and John Krasinski movie Promised Land if you haven’t yet – you’ll see what I mean) But some places are coming to their senses and realizing that if they don’t put bans and moratoriums in place, their very existence could be threatened by this natural gas boom. Here’s a look at some the places where fracking has been banned or has been stopped under a moratorium put in place by lawmakers.
Bans in the U.S.
Mora County, New Mexico Mora was the first county in the U.S. to ban fracking.
Vermont – Signed into law last year by Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to ban fracking. Shumlin said “drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas” and proved himself a hero of the environmental movement.
Maryland – Mountain Lake Park was the first community in Maryland to ban it, and Governor Martin O’Malley has issued an executive order for a three year moratorium.
California – Looks like there will be a statewide ban on the practice as of 2013.
Colorado – Moratoriums and bans have been put in place in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Longmont.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – In 2010, the City of Pittsburgh banned fracking within city limits.
Secaucus, New Jersey – The mayor and Town Council agreed to ban fracking in 2010, calling for all of New Jersey to do the same. In 2012, it banned fracking waste from being disposed of in the state. Sadly, that won’t stop companies from drilling if they get the chance.
Woodstock, New York – Did you expect anything else from Woodstock? As of July 22, 2012, the town enacted new zoning laws prohibiting fracking within the town. Other New York towns banning hydraulic fracturing include Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Red Hook, Syracuse, Springfield, and Rochester.
Bans Around the Globe
France – As of 2011, France no longer will allow drilling.
Ireland – While it has not enacted a legally-binding ban, Ireland has stated that fracking will not be allowed within its borders.
South Africa – SA has fracking on the backburner through a moratorium
Bulgaria – In 2012, Bulgaria outlawed it.
Romania – The country maintains a moratorium while environmental studies are conducted.
Québec, Canada – The country’s natural resources minister has said that it would no longer allow hydraulic fracturing in the province.
If you care about the quality of your locale and your water supply, you will join the fight in getting fracking banned in as many places as possible. Need help getting started? Check out STOP FRACKING NOW! or No Fracking! for tips on how to make your voice heard. Oil and gas companies have a lot of money and manpower to use in this battle; we have to try to stand up to them to protect our natural environment. It’s a life or death situation.
Marcellus-Shale Gas Drilling image from BigStock.