MAR 31, 2017 9:45 AM PDT

Maryland to ban fracking

Maryland will soon become the third state in the nation to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas. The news comes as a huge success to Don't Frack Maryland, a cooperation between 140 business, public interest, community, faith, food and climate groups, that has campaigned intensely for the ban through grassroots organization.  

Photo: Food & Water Watch

On Monday the Senate voted 35-10 for a measure already approved by the House. Mitch Jones, Food & Water Watch senior policy advocate said of Monday’s outcome: "Today's vote is a result of the work of thousands of Marylanders who came out to town halls, hearings and rallies across the state. The grassroots movement to ban fracking overcame the high-powered lobbyists and deep pockets of the oil and gas industry. We worked tirelessly to make sure our legislators and the governor were held accountable to the demands of voters and followed the science. Now we look forward to Governor Hogan signing this bill into law and finally knowing that our water, climate and families will be protected from the dangers of fracking."

Indeed it is surprising that Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who previously had been very pro-fracking, even calling the practice " an economic gold mine," is supporting the ban now. "We must take the next step to move from virtually banning fracking to actually banning fracking," the governor said. "The possible environmental risks of fracking simply outweigh any potential benefits.”

New York and Vermont are the other states that have banned fracking, with an executive order and with legislation, respectively. Maryland is the first state with gas reserves to pass a ban through legislative action.

Garrett and Allegany counties are the communities that have received the most attention from fracking industries. Opponents from those towns supported the ban because they feared fracking could contaminate water sources, bring potential earthquakes, and increase greenhouse-gas emissions.  

“This vote confirms the power of participant democracy,” Ann Bristow, a resident of Garrett County and a member of a state commission that studied fracking. “Never believe when someone tells you that an organized movement can’t produce change against overwhelming odds. We are proving otherwise.”

Sources: The Washington Post, EcoWatch

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 10, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 10, 2019
Pay now or later? Should we conserve floodplains?
Research from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the University of Bristol, as well as flood analytics company Fathom, encourages us to ask a tricky question...
DEC 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 15, 2019
For Squirrels, Benefits to Moving Away From Home Are Sex-Dependent
When squirrels grow up, they often face the tough choice of staying at or near the same location where they were born or moving on to bigger and better pla...
JAN 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 07, 2020
Baby Penguins Are Often Bullied to Death by Adults
Most people envision penguins as fun, happy-go-lucky birds residing in the Earth’s chilly polar regions, but that’s not always the case. In fac...
JAN 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 19, 2020
Why aren't we meeting our forest restoration goals?
A new paper published recently in Conservation Letters hopes to encourage more support for countries aiming to meet their ambitious forest restoration goal...
FEB 01, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 01, 2020
Cut the ozone, help the plants
Researchers from the University of Exeter report in Nature Climate Change their findings of a new "natural climate solution”: reducing emissions...
FEB 02, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 02, 2020
Noasaurid Fossil Confirms Cretaceous Existence on Australia
A class of two-legged carnivorous dinosaur dubbed noasaurids are said to have existed in later half of the Cretaceous Era, but our understanding of their g...
Loading Comments...