NJ governor proposes 1-year gas drilling ban

August 25, 2011 - 1:10 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has recommended a one-year ban on a natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."

The Legislature passed a bill in June to permanently ban the drilling. On Thursday, Christie sent it back with a conditional veto recommending that the ban be lifted next year. It's not clear whether the Legislature will sign off on the change.

The measure is largely symbolic. Experts say there's not enough natural gas under New Jersey to drill for.

In hydraulic fracturing, drillers pump water, sand and chemicals underground to create fissures in rock, freeing up natural gas. The federal government is studying whether fracking hurts water quality. Industry officials say it doesn't.