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Ear to the Ground

Vermont Outlaws Fracking

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Posted on May 18, 2012
Yashna M (CC BY 2.0)

Vermont became the first state to ban the controversial gas-drilling technique that pumps huge volumes of toxic fluid deep into the ground and that has been shown to contaminate drinking water supplies.

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the law Wednesday, saying he hopes other states will follow Vermont’s lead.

As Vermont has little or no known underground natural gas or oil reservoirs, the ban appears largely symbolic. Fracking is used extensively in a number of other states, however, including New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. —ARK

Associated Press via The Columbia Dispatch:

Shumlin said the increased amounts of natural gas obtainable through hydraulic fracturing were not worth the risk to drinking water supplies.

In the coming generation or two, “drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas,” Shumlin said.

“Human beings survived for thousands and thousands of years without oil and without natural gas,” he said. “We have never known humanity or life on this plant to survive without clean water.”

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americanme's avatar

By americanme, May 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Why not just give it all back?

Starting with Vermont, where despite the US government’s obstinate stance on granting tribal recognition to the Abenaki groups, the state government has been signing one by one as they go through the state legal system, recognition of the different Abenaki bands.

The US government doesn’t recognize them because they never signed a treaty with the US government—and they’d have to give them back most of Vermont!

Approximately 35% of the territory claimed by the US was never ceded by treaties.  And the part ceded by treaties should be returned because the US never kept any of the treaties signed with native groups—NOR, for that matter, did it keep the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which is signed with Mexico in 1848!

The US bought Alaska from Russia—but Alaska would be much better off under indigenous management—which would significantly reduce the risk of more Arctic drilling.

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By gerard, May 18, 2012 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

It is absolutely amazing that the U.S.ever stayed together at all when you consider that we embrace everything from Vermont to Florida in degrees of intelligence, common sense and education—or lack of. You’d think that, recognizing this obvious fact, the Federal government would do everything humanly possible to “level up” the standards.  But No. Cling-ing to the torn skirts of an outworn theory of “States Rights”, both the Feds and Wall Street seem to be more willing to lose the unity than to preserve the nation.
  It is clear that the country’s sheer size and variety makes it extremely difficult to govern—and yet—I don’t much relish the idea of it breaking off into 50 different pieces, with Florida floating off toward Cuba and Alaska hooking up with Russia in Sarah Palin’s backyard.

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