Fracking in Vermont
Energy • Environment • Fracking • Public education • Higher education • School choice • Public pensions • State budget and finances • Taxes • Voting • Ballot access • Redistricting
|Fracking in Vermont|
|Fossil fuels present||None|
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Although the state does not have any natural gas or oil reserves or production, Vermont nonetheless became the first state in the nation to ban fracking. On May 16, 2012, Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law H. 464, which bans both the practice of fracking and the collection, storage or treatment of fracking wastewater in Vermont. Shumlin said, "I hope other states will follow us. The science on fracking is uncertain at best. Let the other states be the guinea pigs. Let the Green Mountain State preserve its clean water, its lakes, its rivers and its quality of life." In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry advocacy group, said the state was embarking upon an "irresponsible path that ignores three major needs: jobs, government revenue and energy security."
- See also: Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is the process of injecting fluid--mostly water and sand, but with additional chemicals--into the ground at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks and release the oil and natural gas inside.
Recent technological advances in oil and gas drilling--horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing--have created a wealth of opportunities and challenges for states with fossil fuel reserves that can be accessed through the combination of these two technologies. The increased use of fracking has been an economic boon for many states, not only those with fracking, but also those with supporting industries, such as frac sand mining or associated machinery manufacturing.
Opponents of fracking argue that the potential negative environmental and human health impacts could be significant. Although wells have been fracked for over 65 years in the United States, concerns have been raised about whether federal, state and local regulatory agencies can keep up with the recent rapid increase in fracking activity, and adequately protect the environment and human health. As with any type of energy extraction, either traditional or renewable, there are economic, environmental and political tradeoffs.
Natural gas use in Vermont
Nearly half of Vermont residents employ fuel oil, derived from petroleum, to heat their homes. Only 4 percent of Vermont's residents use electricity to heat their homes. Both natural gas and liquified petroleum gases (LPG) make up about 15 percent of the consumption of energy for home heating.
|Consumption of energy for heating homes in Vermont|
|Source||Vermont 2011||U.S. average 2011|
|Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG)||15.4%||5%|
Because the state does not produce natural gas, it has to import its supply from Canada and New York. The majority comes from a small pipeline from Canada. The crude oil that Vermont depends on comes from Canada, Maine and North Dakota. Some of the pipelines in the state have been constrained because of ecological concerns about environmentally sensitive areas.
|Where electricity comes from in Vermont|
|Type||Amount generated (MWh)||% of state**||% of U.S.**|
|Total net electricity generation||615,000||100%||0.01%|
|**Note: Because the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not include all of a state's energy production in these figures, the EIA totals do not equal 100 percent. Instead, we have generated our own percentages.|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Vermont+Fracking"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Energy policy in Vermont
- Fracking in the United States
- Energy use in the United States
- Energy policy in the United States
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Vermont Profile"
- Frac Focus, "National Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry"
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Vermont Profile Analysis," updated December 18, 2013
- The Huffington Post, "Vermont Fracking Ban: Green Mountain State Is First In U.S. To Restrict Gas Drilling Technique," May 16, 2012
- The Vermont Legislative Bill Tracking System, "H. 464," accessed July 8, 2014
- Public Service Department, "Natural Gas and Propane," accessed February 28, 2014
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Vermont Profile Overview," accessed February 5, 2014
State of Vermont
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets | Secretary of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Board |