"New Jersey lawmakers advanced legislation last week that would make their state the first to ban the controversial and largely unregulated practice of hydraulic fracturing, aka 'fracking,' used to drill for natural gas. The New Jersey Senate Environment Committee approved the legislation amid a public debate over proposed regulations for an estimated 10,000 fracking wells that could soon be established in the Delaware River Basin.
The bill to permanently ban fracking in New Jersey is the first of its kind, but a growing grassroots movement against fracking has already won victories in city halls across the country as the public responds to mounting evidence that fracking operations are contaminating water supplies.
Fracking is the process of injecting millions of gallons of water and chemicals - some of them toxic - into underground formations to split up rock and release natural gas. The language in the New Jersey bill echoes the fears of fracking's hardcore critics, including the industry's unwillingness to reveal the chemicals included in fracking liquids and the now infamous June 3 blowout of a fracking well that spewed potentially explosive gas and 35,000 gallons of contaminated water in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania."