Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill that makes Vermont the first to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to produce natural gas.
“I hope other states will follow us,” Shumlin said May 16. Shumlin said he was disturbed by the prospect of companies “injecting chemicals into the groundwater of America.” Shumlin also called fracking unproven when it comes to its impact on the environment.
“Very soon, there is going to be a shortage of clean water on this planet,” Shumlin said. “Drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas. Human beings have survived for thousands of years without oil or natural gas. We have never known humanity or life on this planet to survive without clean water.”
The governor held the signing ceremony at a school with a number of students behind him. A two-minute video clip of Shumlin’s remarks are available on the governor’s website.
Like many other statewide political leaders in Vermont, Shumlin is an advocate of renewable energy. Under Shumlin’s leadership, the state has been active in litigation to force Entergy’s (NYSE: ETR) Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to close. Outside of Vermont, many states are looking at ways to regulate or restrict the practice of fracking. The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management recently proposed a package of fracking rules.