New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently put a halt to hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for natural gas in the Garden State by imposing a one-year moratorium, pending further research by the state's Department of Environment Protection into the practice's safety. New Jersey has become the second state after New York to temporarily halt fracking activity, Business Insider reports.
Christie issued a statement saying "I am placing a one-year moratorium on fracking so that the state Department of Environmental Protection can further evaluate the potential environmental impacts of this practice in New Jersey as well as evaluate the findings of still-outstanding and ongoing federal studies," according to the media outlet.
Christie stated that that no proposed shale-gas development projects exist in the state, but industry insiders state that drilling opportunities exist in the northwestern area of the state, according to the media outlet.
Fracking is a highly contentious issue, with critics saying that it is carcinogenic and proponents saying that it does not cause illness. Fracking accounts for an ever-increasing percentage of natural gas production in the U.S., increasing from 2 percent in 2001 to almost 30 percent currently, The Washington Post reports.