NJTV News

Murphy announces NJ will permanently ban fracking

On the banks of the Delaware River, Gov. Phil Murphy did what candidate Phil Murphy promised.

“Today, I am announcing that New Jersey is reversing course. New Jersey will support efforts to permanently ban fracking within the entirety of the Delaware River watershed,” said Murphy.

Murphy said the reversal was about the Garden State’s role in protecting the 13,000-plus square miles of the Delaware River Basin, the long history of river commerce and the drinking water to millions of consumer.

“As a partner along with Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware in the Delaware River Basin Commission, New Jersey seemingly forgot the importance of protecting the Delaware from one of modern time’s most dangerous threats — fracking,” continued Murphy.

The Delaware River Basin Commission’s other member is the federal Environmental Protection Agency, representing the pro-fracking Trump administration. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy said fracking for natural gas should be a thing of the past.

“We must take the longer view for how we get our energy in the first place. Fossil fuels, once extracted, are gone,” she said.

Phillipsburg’s Mayor Steve Ellis said protecting the river is important to his plans to revitalize the town.

“We are clearly on the road to success. It is critical for current and future generations to continue to protect and enhance our river,” said Ellis.

A Google search of the word fracking finds a lot of videos that talk about effects of fracking like polluting water, causing earthquakes and other damage. Things that one would think would make it hard to defend the industry, but an group says, ‘not so’.

“It’s lessened our dependence on foreign oil dramatically and it’s making this country far more energy secure as a result of having these resources in the United States,” said the president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, David Spigelmyer. “New Jersey is very much dependent on natural gas. All of it is hydraulically fractured somewhere, and I think it’s a bit hypocritical for the state and the governor to come out and say that they don’t support hydraulic fracturing. These tired claims of hydraulic fracking causing water contamination have been time and time again proven to be without merit.”

Environmentalists say scores of scientific studies and the EPA refute that.

“It’s because the fracking itself takes toxic materials, injects them into the ground, and when they come back up, you have a toxic soup that’s radioactive,” said Tracy Carluccio, the deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Opponents said they have longed for New Jersey to reverse its fracking position with the Delaware River Basin Commission.

“As we say, don’t frack the Delaware or anywhere, but more importantly, we applaud what the governor is doing today. We just say, there’s no fracking way that we should allow our waters to get polluted and I think that’s critical,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

There is no fracking right now in New Jersey, but opponents insist it could happen here. For now, they cheer that the new governor also favors keeping fracking waste water out of New Jersey, and that their environmental friend in Trenton is a real foe of fracking.