Hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) for natural gas is having a devastating effect on nearby states like New York and Pennsylvania and across the border in Quebec. While Vermont’s natural gas reserves have been left untapped, it may only be a matter of time before the oil and gas industry looks to exploit our resource.
Natural gas deposits exist mainly in the northwestern corner of Vermont. The large Utica shale formation begins across the border in Canada, and extends south along Lake Champlain.
With weak federal oversight, regulation falls to state officials. It’s critical for our state legislators to preemptively ban the use of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Vermont, before it’s too late.
Dangers of Fracking
- Public Health
Industry refuses to disclose the chemicals used, but studies have found hundreds of different chemicals, including neurotoxins to carcinogens.
- Water Pollution
Fracking fluid chemicals have been found in wells up to 4-13,000 times the acceptable level allowed in drinking water. Shale formations along Vermont’s iconic Lake Champlain raise the risk of contamination if fracking takes place.
- Air Pollution
With 200 tanker trucks needed for just one well, diesel fuel is a leading cause of increased airborne pollutants, and smog even in the most rural of areas.
- Soil Pollution
65-90% of the toxic fracking fluids stay underground indefinitely. Seismologists are questioning the connection between fracking and the increased rate of earthquakes in heavily drilled areas.
Who’s for Fracking?
Gas companies like Exxon Mobil, and Chevron spent $726 Million dollars lobbying the federal government from 2001-2011. As a result, fracking is now exempt from major federal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Toxics Release Inventory, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act