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Vermont Bans Fracking 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-more-gas-for-you dept.
eldavojohn writes "Vermont is the first state to ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a process that was to revolutionize the United States' position into a major producer of natural gas. New York currently has a moratorium on fracking but it is not yet a statewide ban. Video of the signing indicates the concern over drinking water as the motivation for Vermont's measures (PDF draft of legislation). Slashdot has frequently encountered news debating the safety of such practices."
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Vermont Bans Fracking

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  • Re:About time.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emarkp (67813) <slashdot.roadq@com> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @05:51PM (#40035077) Journal

    Now, if only there was scientific evidence that there was a problem with fracking, instead of all of this political pressure because all fossil fuels are evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:03PM (#40035203)

    Neo-Luddism is alive and well in Vermont.

  • Re:About time.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:04PM (#40035217)

    This isn't science.

    This is engineering implemented by human actors who are both Not rational and Not accountable for their actions due to deregulation of fracking and its exemption from the Clean Water Act.

    Linking anti-fracking with anti-science is dishonest and manipulative of the discussion.

  • WE need scientific evidence, and the people flooding the water table with cocktails of industrial grade chemicals don't?

  • by ChrisMaple (607946) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:18PM (#40035329)
    Your breathing generates carbon dioxide which is alleged to harm every living being. Before you take another breath, the precautionary principle demands you prove your breathing causes no harm.
  • Re:Yeah, Vermont (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ChrisMaple (607946) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:26PM (#40035415)
    Vermont is the 5th slowest growing state in the union. With attitudes like yours, no wonder Vermont repulses perople.
  • Re:About time.. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:28PM (#40035445)

    How about the 251 fracking chemicals that Dick Cheney got exempted from the Clean Water Act? Meaning we have no data on how they affect humans, animals, or the environment?

    You are a fucking shill for the oil industry, go fuck yourself.
    COMMON FUCKING SENSE tells you that fracking is bad.

  • Re:About time.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:40PM (#40035577)

    I think most of the complaints are with natural gas ending up in drinking water. It's hard to judge, though, because the places where natural gas is plentiful already had a lot of gas in the drinking water.

    The other concern is the unknown chemicals used in the frack water. Apparently the exact mix is considered a trade secret and so it goes largely untested by the scientific community.

    There is the earthquake issue with the disposal, but these tremors are tiny little things. I have no idea if they could "trigger" a destructive earthquake, but it seems unlikely IMUHO (uninformed humble opinion) :)

  • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @07:48PM (#40036287) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure, but I don't think Vermont even has the right kind of geology for gas or oil. The Green Mountains are very old, I believe metamorphic rock, and I thought natural gas and oil are generally in sedimentary deposits - sandstone with a limestone cap, or some such.

    I suspect the ban is a symbolic gesture, already knowing that nothing is really at risk.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @07:54PM (#40036339) Journal

    I do not know why the above message is modded as Flamebait

    What Vermont did is neo-luddism

    Unless Vermont decides that it stops using any fossilized fuel, and will NOT import any of it, stopping fracking inside the state is simply a NIMBY move

  • Re:About time.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @08:24PM (#40036569) Journal

    Clearly you haven't studied the effects of lubricating geological strata. Their having the same problem up around Calistoga, CA where they've been enhancing geothermal systems by injecting water to increase the steam but also as a side effect lubricating strata, and causing earthquakes from sub 1.0 to nearly 5.0 on the Richter Scale. In the case of Fracking, these are places where there was little or no movement in the ground and you created movement first by creating an artificial fault network (the Fracking itself) and then by applying a lubricant to help the gas migrate to the surface. All of that said, there are a host of ways to manage and mitigate these problems, and we need to be looking at how we can best balance the interest of the many with the well being of those impacted.

    However, the real problem surrounding fracking is that ex-VP Cheney ramrodded legislation through for his good friends at Halliburton and its subsidiaries allowing them to claim the contents of their fracking fluid as a "Trade Secret", and virtually excusing them from all clean water law. The result is that a few greedy, nasty, bad men, did really sorry things to a few people's drinking water and used a number of small rural communities as their toilets. There is worrisome evidence that a few people have died. There is significant evidence that a number of people have been exposed to toxic levels of benzene, heavy metals, and a whole raft of other known carcinogens and neurotoxins. The culprits are folks who are well connected, have friends all the way to the Supreme Court and the chance they'll even receive even a wrist slap is vanishingly small. At best, those who have been assaulted and abused (or their grandchildren... if any survive) may in distant decades collect some small monetary recompense for their suffering and almost certainly shortened life spans. This is not an indictment on the industry. I believe its possible to "Frack" safely and with clear consideration for the environment and the people that live in said environment. It is, as with so many other things, a situation where a few really disgusting self serving two legged vermin, have paved the entire scenery with their personal manifest destinies and left all including responsible business men and women holding a bag full of their rancid social excrement.

    A just system would punish the guilty and reward the innocent. We are sadly in a longing search for a just system. We need to come up with a better game than simple "Monetary Profit", because this game is killing us all.

  • by Lanteran (1883836) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @08:29PM (#40036607) Homepage Journal

    When the result of fracking in your backyard is making your drinking water flammable, they're damn right to not want it there.

  • by Vancorps (746090) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @09:15PM (#40036899)

    Clearly someone that doesn't know anyone from Vermont. You know how frustrating it was for me to move to AZ back in 2001? I had DSL in Vermont since 1996. They were one of the first states to deploy it state-wide to assist with telecommuting. Our governor at the time, Howard Dean, even pumped state funds to help the more rural areas get it which was a direct benefit to myself.

    No, Vermonters are not afraid of progress or technology, hell IBM is a huge part of their tax payer base. You also wanna know where the two safest places are in terms of natural disasters? Yep, Arizona and Vermont! That's why people like to build data-centers there. I imagine they want to keep their drinking water and maintain steady ground beneath their feet. They actually care about their natural resources.

    Also, Vermonters are big producers of biodiesel so again I say, you probably shouldn't attack something you clearly know little to nothing about.

    With all the evidence against fracking and the banning of it in Europe, I'm concerned that people still haven't seen the writing on the wall with it.

  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @09:17PM (#40036913)

    When the result of fracking in your backyard is making your drinking water flammable, they're damn right to not want it there.

    Well, since the only instance of this "flammable drinking water" that I know of existed *before* any fracking took place, you don't have much of a factual/logical leg to stand on here.

    Another NIMBY/Luddite fairy tale, spread to frighten the uninformed masses into knee-jerk reactions.

    Like yours.

    Strat

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @09:48PM (#40037085) Journal
    It's not neo-luddism. Vermont has no natural gas, so this has no effect. It's just good old-fashioned political cynicism. Throw a bone to appease anyone who cares but doesn't care enough to actually check.
  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @10:09PM (#40037221)

    You might as well argue with your dog.

    Yeah, I know that many here would rather remain comfortable in their ignorance and will ignore and mod me down because they dislike being made uncomfortable, but I'm the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench*, that will say boldly and without fear the true facts and history that make them uncomfortable.

    *Yes, I know it's mangled. It's a partial quote from the movie "Die Hard".

    Strat

  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Friday May 18, 2012 @02:25AM (#40038565)

    Regardless of whether fracking results in the near-permanent contamination of rural water supplies nearby it, it is a rather dreadful noisy and destructive process. I've spoken with someone who got lumped into a settlement and is watching the process unfold around him. Roads being destroyed by heavy machinery, and a 24-hour cacophony of noise. And that is without the potential contamination of the water supply due to concrete breaking down over time or unknown geological variables that result in the leaking of said chemicals somewhere along the line. Perhaps as a result of negligence or economic short-cutting to make more profit as the price of natural-gas plummets thus resulting in a desire to extract it with as little "investment" as possible. Yeah truly a luddite fairy tale, or is it really more of a real-life nightmare.

    OK, this is what I don't understand about how the environmental movement in general thinks about petroleum as an energy source, fracking, and domestic oil exploration and drilling. They say they'd like to see these activities and the use of petroleum as a primary energy source reduced or eliminated.

    Fair enough. We still, despite any practical reductions achievable through conservation in the next few decades, will need more energy than alternatives are able to supply or in the manner/form necessary.

    It seems to me that it would provide a much greater incentive for the US to reduce it's petroleum usage if the US kept more of the "externalities", like geological and environmental dangers of petroleum exploration, drilling, & refining within the domestic US instead of allowing those negative externalities to be exported to other regions.

    It seems it would be a double-win for the environmentalists, as those policies would not only accelerate alternative energy development and deployment, and would also keep more of the nation's wealth that was sent to the Middle East and elsewhere stimulating the US economy and creating jobs and opportunity here for everyone.

    They could be heroes if they weren't so short-sighted and unable to see a larger picture.

    But then, it may not be simple short-sightedness with many environmental activists and groups, but instead, a deliberate.use of the environmental agenda as camouflage. I get the feeling that many are more concerned with attacking Capitalism and promoting class-warfare and collectivism than protecting the environment.

    It's known as "Eco-Socialism": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-socialism [wikipedia.org]

    Not that all environmental groups belong to this group. However, it's largely due to these types that those individuals and groups truly concerned with the environment and ready to work on actual, practical solutions get painted negatively in the public's perceptions.

    Strat

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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