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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Fracking

2013 January 28

With new technology comes new debates and in 2012 many state legislatures attempted to regulate a relatively new industry they did not know much of.  This industry is hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”  Although states differed in the requirements they placed on fracking, they all agreed that the process of hydraulic fracturing and its effects need further study.  Because the impact of fracking on our environment and on our economy is still uncertain, state legislatures across the country introduced the following bills and hotly debated them within their respective chambers.


In Vermont, H 464 prohibits hydraulic fracturing in the state.  The bill defines fracking as “the process of pumping a fluid into or under the surface of the ground in order to create fractures in rock for the purpose of the production or recovery of oil or gas.”  Vermont is the first state to put an outright ban on fracking.  However, the bill also requires the Secretary of Natural Resources to submit a report, on or before January 15, 2015, to the legislature on how hydraulic fracturing should be regulated; leaving room for a possible change in legislation in the future.  In opposition of fracking, Gov. Peter Shumlin said ‘‘I think it’s in keeping with our environmental ethic and our protection of our natural resources that we make it clear that we wouldn’t frack for [gas] even if we had it.’’  State Representative Heidi Scheuermann objected the bill,  saying "We don't know what our assets are in this state…We have no idea ...

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Legislative Wrap-Up: Bullying in Schools

2013 January 25

Throughout the past decade there has been a national trend of legislation on bullying.