Vermont Ponders Fracking Ban

Vermont is about to become the first U.S. state to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

Fracking extracts natural gas by injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into shale rock formations to fracture the rock and release the gas. Giant holding ponds or tanks are needed to store the chemically contaminated waste water that comes back up the hole after wells have been fractured.

The Vermont House of Representatives voted 103-36 Friday to approve a conference committee report calling for the ban. The report reconciles differences with a bill banning the practice passed by the state Senate last week.

The measure now goes to the desk of Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, who is expected to sign it into law.

“We don’t want to be shooting chemicals into our groundwater in pursuit of gas that does not exist,” Governor Shumlin said Friday after the House vote.

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