You have to hand it to the Garden State fractivists. While liberal Philadelphia lawmakers are strong-armed into voting for an impact fee bill they think is paltry and flawed, their legislative neighbors across the river get to introduce all-out fracking bans.
New Jersey’s Senate Environmental Committee put their stamp of approval on a bill Thursday that would ban hydraulic fracturing. New Jersey does not contain large deposits of natural gas within the Marcellus Shale like Pennsylvania. So the state has not seen a drilling boom. But environmentalists there worry about the Utica Shale, which lies below the Marcellus. The Utica Shale stretches from upstate New York, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, all the way to Tennessee. But just a small portion of the formation lies in the northwest corner of New Jersey.
“We need this ban bill to protect New Jersey’s environment and economy since the Governor and the federal government has not,” said New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel in a press release.
New Jersey lawmakers tried to ban fracking before. It got through the legislature, but Governor Christie turned it into a one year moratorium.