The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Gov. Peter Shumlin made Vermont the first state in the nation to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas when he signed H.464 into law on May 16.
Shumlin praised environmental advocates and legislative sponsors for their leadership on the bill. He also noted that the new law could be a model for other states to follow.
“Fracking for gas is not the solution to our energy needs, it’s part of the problem,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). “I’m proud that Vermont has a governor who understands the difference between a problem and a solution and is willing to stand up for clean renewable energy over fossil fuels.”
Fracking is a highly controversial method of extracting natural gas from dense rock formations deep in the ground by injecting huge quantities of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure. Citizens in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York have raised concerns about fracking endangering water supplies, air quality and public health.
On May 15 at a rally and concert in Albany, NY, hundreds of activists joined celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo and Natalie Merchant to encourage New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in that state. VPIRG’s Paul Burns was also invited to speak about Vermont’s role in becoming the first state not only to ban fracking, but also the disposal of dangerous fracking waste.
“It was an honor to be asked to speak for Vermont at an event like that,” said Burns. “The way the crowd erupted in applause when they heard that the bill would be signed into law today was amazing. It gave me a good sense of just how important our leadership role can be.”
Gov. Shumlin highlighted the work on Sen. Ginny Lyons and Reps. Tony Klein, David Deen, Kate Webb and Jim McCullough in shepherding the bill through.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.