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Vermont is quietly on its way to being the first state to ban fracking. On April 18, the Vermont Senate voted in favor of a ban on fracking for natural gas by a margin of 27-1, sending a strong message that the state's legislature is on board to lead the way in protecting its citizens from fouled water and air.
Although Vermont sits on a relatively small reserve of natural gas compared to, say, New York or Pennsylvania, the ban will set an important precedent while prohibiting the collection, treatment or storage of fracking wastewater within state borders. This is of special concern due to Vermont's immediate proximity to the Utica and Marcellus shale formations—two hotbeds containing massive amounts of shale gas that are virtually under siege by the gas industry.
"This vote brings Vermont one step closer to becoming the first state in the nation to ban the dirty and dangerous practice of fracking," said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).
"This is exactly the kind of leadership that is needed on this issue. Fracking is wreaking havoc in nearby states. This bill sends a clear message to the oil and gas industry that we value clean water too much to allow fracking in Vermont," Burns added.
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