Environmental groups call for ban on fracking waste

By Jared Kaltwasser

With New Jersey's one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing expiring Thursday, a group of environmental organizations is calling on the state Legislature to override Gov. Chris Christie's veto of a ban on fracking waste.

Hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking,” refers to the highly controversial practice of using chemically treated water to free shale natural gas reserves deep underground. The advent of fracking technology has led to vast new drilling opportunities and an economic boom in Western Pennsylvania, but environmentalists say the chemicals used in the process often end up in water supplies. Industry groups deny that charge.

What's Fracking Our Minds? Reality, Imagination and What Is Below the Surface

G. Benjamin Bingham

The word "Impact" standing alone could be good or bad -- or both. Crashing into something is not the same as transforming it, and in a media rich world there is a constant flood of conflicting data and confusing innuendo. This seems to be particularly true around the issue of fracking (the fracturing of deep layers of rock to unleash cheap natural gas). Ironically, it seems Matt Damon kind of lied when interviewed on NPR about his latest movie built around the issue of fracking: Promised Land. Asked why he would make a movie about fracking, he implied that he just happened to pick the topic because it seemed to be the best way to highlight current polarized American characters. Can we believe the discarnate voice of the smart Harvard guy-next-door on our car radio when he says it is not a personal passion of his? No fracking way! He is the co-founder of www.water.org after all. So what was going on? By the way, it gets even more complex when considering his description of the anti-hero he plays, the everyman, Steve, a super salesman for natural gas, who, Damon says, develops a feeling both for and against fracking and ends up promoting democracy: i.e. let the farm towns of America vote pro or con on the opportunity to sell their souls to the devil. But this is not how it goes in the movie at all... so what gives? Is he cleverly pretending to be evenhanded just like the powerful money interests who are pushing natural gas in the movie and for real? It is hard to trust the facts of anyone who clearly is not being straightforward.