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More Than 50 New Jersey Groups Urge Override of Christie Fracking Veto

New evidence of water contamination renews call for ban on fracking

A broad coalition of more than 50 environmental, faith, labor, student and consumer organizations representing hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents renewed their call for a ban on fracking in New Jersey by submitting a letter to New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney asking him to hold a vote on Governor Christie’s veto of NJ’s fracking ban.

“It seems like everyday we learn of a new reason to ban fracking. Whether it is recent EPA reports of fracking chemicals in Wyoming groundwater or earthquakes in Ohio each of these findings proves what we have known all along, the time to ban fracking is now,” said Jim Walsh, NJ Director for Food & Water Watch. Beyond the dangers fracking poses to our environment and public health, each of the signatories to this letter represents another reason to ban fracking, added Walsh.

Recent findings have driven the call to override the governor’s veto of our fracking ban. The EPA has recently reported that chemicals associated with fracking have been discovered in a Wyoming Aquifer and a seismologist in Ohio who has been studying earth quakes are likely caused by injection wells used to dispose of fracking fluids.

“The Legislature has shown sensible leadership with the passage of the Frack Ban Bill. There is no reason to abandon that position of strength; the best way, and the most economical, to protect New Jersey’s drinking water is to take a straightforward stand for clean water and communities by preventing gas pollution. We urge our representatives to champion clean water and over-ride the Governor’s veto of this historic Bill,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Early last summer, the New Jersey State Legislature overwhelmingly approved a permanent ban on fracking, making it the only state in the nation to do so. But Christie vetoed the legislation shortly after. In November, fueled by massive opposition to fracking—the public submitted over 70,000 comments opposing fracking and over 1,000 people demonstrated one the steps of the Statehouse.

“New Jersey legislators took bipartisan action to put the brakes on fracking and its uncertain environmental impacts in New Jersey. With great potential for irreversible harm to drinking water for millions of New Jerseyans and to the rich natural resources of the Delaware River Watershed, this move was a wise one and one that should be upheld,” said Kelly Mooij, Esq., Director of Government Relations, NJ Audubon.

“Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas has proven to be too dangerous to our water supplies to allow it to continue. New Jersey will be acting wisely if we can ban the practice now, especially when scientific studies about its impacts have not yet been completed." said Amy Hansen, policy analyst at New Jersey Conservation Foundation.”

“Gas drilling is dirty, dangerous and can only deliver pollution to our drinking water,” said Doug O’Malley, field director for Environment New Jersey. “The Legislature should stand up for clean water and override Gov. Christie’s veto of the fracking ban bill.”

"Legislators have a great chance Monday to show they can be statesmen not just politicians by posting and passing with a 2/3 majority the frack ban. Enough legislators voted that way the first time so if it doesn't happen it's just politics as usual over good public policy.

 “Legislators are about as far removed from their next election as they can be, so if not now, when?" said Dave Pringle of the NJ Environmental Federation.

“New Jersey legislature must vote to override Governor Christie’s conditional veto of the fracking ban bill. Our future depends on it. If fracking comes to New Jersey, it could destroy our state’s critical water ways, water supply, streams and rivers,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “As long as there is a Halliburton Loophole exempting fracking from seven major environmental laws New Jersey has to ban fracking.”

Member groups of the coalition that signed on to the letter include 350.org, New Jersey; All Around Grounds; Asbury Park Sustainability Committee; Bergen Grassroots; BlueWave NJ; Citizens United for Renewable Energy; ClimateMama; Coastal Monmouth Democratic Club; Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; Environment NJ; Environmental Leadership and Actions Network at Ithaca College; Edison Wetlands Association; EnAcT Muhlenberg College; Essex Passaic Greens; First Unitarian Society of Plainfield; Frackthemovie.com; Food & Water Watch; Garden State Earth Institute; GreenFaith; Greenpeace Student Network, Ithaca College; Green Sanctuary Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sussex County; Hi-Mar Striper Club; Heirloom Acres; Ironbound Community Corporation; Jersey Shore Chapter, NJ Sierra Club; Kean Action Team for Sustainability; Kinnelon Conserves; Master Gardener of Middlesex County; Monmouth County DFA; Progressive Democrats of America; NJ Audubon; NJ Conservation Foundation; NJ Environmental Federation; NJ Environmental Lobby; NJ Friends of Clearwater; NJ Highlands Coalition; NJ Labor Against War; NJ Sierra Club; NJ State Industrial Union Council; NJ Working Families Alliance; North Jersey Public Policy Network; NY/NJ Baykeeper; Red Bank Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan; Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich; Red Bank Environmental Commission; Ramapo 1 Step; Students Together for Environmental Progress; Rutgers Student Union; Secaucus Environmental Committee; Sea Savers, Inc.; Sisters of St. Dominic – Caldwell; Sisters of Mercy; Sustainable Rider; The Front Yard Farmer; Transition Newton & Northwest NJ; Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ; Unitarian Universalist of Ocean County; Universe and Creation Committee of the Srs. of St. Dominic, Caldwell; WATERSPIRIT

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