Not that it matters beyond PR value, but Vermont will become the first state to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, either later this week or next:
Vermont will be the first state to outlaw a controversial oil and gas drilling method known as fracking when Governor Peter Shumlin signs a bill banning the practice, a largely symbolic move given the state’s apparent lack of energy reserves.
"Governor Shumlin does support the fracking ban," said Sue Allen, a spokeswoman for Vermont’s Democratic governor. "He will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk."
Vermont’s House and Senate approved the measure last week and the bill is undergoing a final review by legislative staffers before being sent to the governor, Allen said.
It is a largely token gesture, given that Vermont does not have any natural gas reserves to speak of, sitting just outside the boundaries of the vast Marcellus shale formation.*
Perhaps the most influential drilling industry trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, is not impressed:
"The decision by the Vermont legislature to pass a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing follows an irresponsible path that ignores three major needs: jobs, government revenue and energy security," said Rolf Hansen, director of state government relations for the American Petroleum Institute, in a statement.
"Robust regulations exist at the federal and state levels nationwide for natural gas development and environmental protection," Hanson said.*
Vermont will become the first, and likely last state, to ban fracking. Except maybe for Hawaii. Oh, and Maryland. 🙂
*Reuters (May 8, 2012) – Vermont poised to be first state to outlaw fracking