Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Declares Support for Fracking Ban in the Delaware River Basin


Phillipsburg – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that he will join the Governors of Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware in support of a ban on hydraulic fracturing –a process commonly called “fracking”—in the Delaware River Basin.

Fracking is a process where highly pressurized liquid is injected into the earth to fracture subterranean shale and extract natural gas or oil. The process has been linked to contaminated ground water, increased need for hazardous waste disposal, and other environmental effects.

“Fracking should not have a role in the energy future of New Jersey,” Governor Murphy said. “We must continue to protect our residents from the risk of contaminated water and protect our environment from the harmful effects of fossil fuel extraction. We will continue to move toward a clean energy economy that takes the best interests of our environment and our residents into account.”

In September 2017, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) approved a resolution directing the Executive Director to publish proposed changes to their regulations that would ban high volume hydraulic fracking in the watershed and discourage both export of water for fracking outside the Basin and import of fracking wastewater.

But under Governor Christie, New Jersey abstained from the vote, the only Delaware River Basin state to withhold support. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor John Carney of Delaware joined Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to vote in favor of a fracking ban.

Today, Governor Murphy sent a letter to Governor Wolf, the chair of the DRBC, to affirm his support for a fracking ban and extend a commitment to upholding that ban as the DRBC moves toward a permanent decision on fracking. The DRBC has scheduled public hearings through March, and the Board is expected to consider adopting the proposed regulations at a public meeting thereafter.

“New Jersey will work closely with the DRBC as it continues its rulemaking process,” Governor Murphy said. “Moving forward, you can trust that New Jersey’s representative to the DRBC will consider all available information on this topic and act with a commitment to protecting our environment, natural resources, and the health of our citizens.”

Governor Murphy remains committed to growing clean energy in New Jersey. On Wednesday, he signed an Executive Order creating an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan aimed at increasing New Jersey’s offshore wind energy generation.

A copy of Governor Murphy’s Letter to Governor Wolf and the DRBC is attached.