In his State of the Union Address, President Obama spoke about the importance of natural gas as an energy source. “One of the reasons why is natural gas – if extracted safely, [is] the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas. My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities.”
A crowd of more than 1,000 attended the anti-fracking protest held in the capital of New York state, organized during the State of the State address. The governor, though, chose not to mention the issue of fracking in his speech. Activists were protesting in order to urge the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to expand the moratorium on fracking ¬– which has been in place since 2008 – and ban it altogether. Protesters held signs ‘Don’t frack with our future,’ and ‘We love frack-free N.Y.’ as they took over the Empire State Plaza, where the State of the State address was delivered.
Houston County, Minn., officials are considering permanently banning new frac sand mining. County commissioners unanimously extended a moratorium on new sand mining through March 2015. Commissioners also sent a letter to state officials asking for guidance on the potential permanent ban. Houston County is the first county weighing a permanent ban since legislation took effect giving local governments more options to regulate frac sand mining, according to the Winona Daily News.