The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
New Jersey Governor Vetoes Fracking Waste Ban Despite Bipartisan Support
If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose presidential potential is still being touted by some supporters despite a series of scandals surrounding him, is trying to demonstrate that he's on the far right fringe of his own party when it comes to the environment, he's doing a good job of it.
L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com
Last week, he vetoed a bill dubbed the Frack Waste Ban Bill which would have barred the disposal, treatment, storage and discharge of fracking waste in the state. It's the second time he's done so; he vetoed a similar bill in 2012.
And he's done so despite overwhelming support of the measure in the New Jersey legislature from both parties. The bill had four dozen sponsors, both Republicans and Democrats. The vote in the N.J. Senate was 33-4. In the state Assembly it was 62-16-1.
Currently, no fracking is going on in New Jersey, but there's plenty in neighboring Pennsylvania, which is already bringing some of its waste to New Jersey for disposal. When he previously vetoed the bill, Christie claimed it violated the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, New Jersey's nonpartisan legislative Office of Legislative Services, says it doesn't because it would treat in-state and out-of-state waste equally.
Two dozen environmental groups were involved in the campaign to promote the Frack Waste Ban Bill, and Christie's veto evoked a blitz of indignation from them.
“The governor has just opened the floodgates of pollution by refusing to protect us from toxic and radioactive frack waste," said Tracy Carluccio of Delaware Riverkeeper Network. "We know the Frack Waste Ban Bill conforms with the law because it bans all frack waste, no matter the state of origin, and we know we need the ban because waste has already been dumped here."
“Governor Christie has sold out our drinking water to the fossil fuel industry," said Jeff Tittle of the N.J. Sierra Club. "We already have enough pollution in our waterways, we don't need any more from fracking wastewater. We do not need waste haulers dumping in New Jersey."
"Governor Christie proved today that he couldn't care less about the health and safety of New Jersey families," said Food & Water Watch's New Jersey director Jim Walsh. "Fracking waste is highly toxic and radioactive, and it has no place in our communities."
"Gov. Christie's veto doubles down on his same mistake from two years ago," said Environment New Jersey's Doug O'Malley. "Fracking waste is a clear and present danger to our waterways."
All the groups called on the legislature to override the governor's veto. But while there would seem to be enough votes to do so, the New Jersey legislature has never overturned a Christie veto.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.