NJ Governor Murphy Supports Fracking Ban in the Delaware

Governor Murphy announces his support for a fracking ban in the Delaware River Basin.
Credit: Office of the Governor of New Jersey

"[Fracking] is a direct threat to our water, and runs counter to our values."

— New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

Newly elected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reaffirmed his support today for a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. His announcement comes at an important moment as we continue to advocate for a full and complete ban on fracking in the Basin, which includes portions of New Jersey.

While the proposed regs put forward by the Delaware River Basin Commission include a ban, which is historic, that ban is currently incomplete. Specifically, the regs create a possibility of opening the Watershed to storage, treatment, disposal and discharge of fracking wastewater, and allowing the withdrawal of fresh water for fracking elsewhere. Much like drilling itself, opening the watershed to storage, treatment and disposal of contaminated fracking wastewater would endanger pristine fresh water supplies, and the communities throughout the watershed that rely on them. Additionally, banning fracking, only to extract and use freshwater for fracking elsewhere, both allows this dangerous practice to continue in other nearby areas while also depriving basin states of use of that water for more beneficial uses, such as drinking water and crop irrigation.

Fracking industrializes communities, causes climate pollution and can lead to severe public health issues, including respiratory problems, pregnancy complications, PTSD, endocrine abnormalities, among other symptoms. New Jersey’s Legislature has twice voted to ban fracking wastewater, and once to ban fracking outright. But despite bipartisan support, and backing and leadership from grassroots groups throughout the state, former Governor Chris Christie vetoed those bills. In 2011, Christie instituted a one-year moratorium on fracking, which subsequently expired.

Group at DRBC meeting
Community members rally outside of the DRBC meeting this past summer.
Credit: Rob Friedman

New Jerseyans have experienced firsthand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, which are supercharged by fossil fuels like fracked gas. By supporting a ban in the Delaware River Basin, Governor Murphy is demonstrating critical leadership at a time when the Trump administration is doing everything in its power to expand fossil fuel extraction. Governor Murphy is also showing what states can do to protect our environment and communities in the face of a hostile federal government.

We now look to Governor Murphy and the other governors who sit on the Delaware River Basin Commission to make the proposed fracking ban full and complete. Urge the Delaware River Basin Commissioners to support a full ban by submitting a comment here!

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