On May 18, 2012, Vermont became the first US state to ban hydraulic fracking when Governor Peter Shumlin signed Bill H. 464 into law. Hydraulic fracking is a method used by many major oil companies to extract natural gas and obtain shale oil and gas by using an extremely pressurized mixture of water, sand and undisclosed chemicals to break through rock. The Green Mountain State passed this measure preemptively, without evidence of a reserve of oil or gas in the state. New York extended its moratorium on fracking, while former North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed a measure lifting a statewide ban on fracking in July 2012, and NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the practice in the state in June 2011.
Read an overview of Fracking in Features.