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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