Banning Fracking & Pellet Backing

A couple of weeks ago, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that banned fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, for natural gas.
By Anna Simet | June 05, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that banned fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, for natural gas.

Impressively, it’s the first state to do so.

My first reaction to this news was positive, as I’ve read and heard that fracking can pose some serious environmental and health hazards. But then I began to wonder, does Vermont even have any natural gas?

So I did a little research and it seems like there isn’t even any exploration going on. One blog I came across compared the move to “outlawing snow skiing in Florida.” While that may be a stretch of a comparison, I came to the conclusion that perhaps it was more of a symbolic gesture than a preventative measure.

I say this because along with the fracking ban, Shumlin expanded the state’s CLEAN Program cap, otherwise known as Standard Offer Program, from 50 MW to 127.5 MW, called for the development of voluntary harvesting guidelines that may be used by private landowners to help ensure long-term forest health, and authorized a biomass energy demonstration project to be implemented in Chittenden County by the Biomass Energy Co-op Corp., to explore and showcase the development of community-supported wood harvest and pellet production in Vermont. 

I’ll have to make a note to check in on the pellet project and let you know how it’s panning out.

Anyway, all of the aforementioned are good for the wood pellet and biomass power industries in the state, but I know many were disappointed that the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) component was stripped from the bill prior to passage. It does, however, require the Public Service Board to further study an RPS, including consideration of a system that rewards efficiency.

Trying to look on the bright side, that’s better than nothing, right? Vermont may not have an RPS quite yet, but it’s a lot further ahead than many other states in transitioning toward clean and renewable energy, especially in light of these new initiatives.




2 Responses

  1. Jacques Bakke



    Clean air and clean water is the goal--- When government policy encourages burning a forest and calls it forest management and contributes to the phony man-made Global Warming concept is tantamount to blaming man for sun spots and volcanic eruptions. No one in his/her right mind wants to inhale bad air or drink polluted water. Man is contributing to bad air and water today. Sun spots and volcanos rarely do. Fracking or H fracturing is man-made chemical introduction and man-made re-arranging and disturbing the water table. Who in their right mind wants this if ones water source is being effected or possibly threatened? Well, of course, that would be anyone being paid to do it and their health and well being are not impacted---they think--- Fracking is terrorism and WILL end or the the threat will be reversed. What's to question? Technology has not simplified our lives nor has it contributed to the betterment of us. It is all in the mind.. It has gone beyond a usefulness to a contrived, money making, planned obsolescence, scheming (and poisoning us) system. GMO, chemically processed sugars and foods---what next? Few remember when one could pick up the phone and give an operator (who could speak English) information and make a call to anywhere in the world with dispatch. Few remember when everything you ingested was organically grown. Beef as well as tomatoes. Then came processed foods and fat people.

  2. Suzan



    One question has been on my mind and that is, what soucres are these companies obtaining the water from? Or, is what we have left in Earth's already strained aquifers being used? Because I would really hate to see that water intentionally contaminated with chemicals.

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