Protect Marylanders from Fracking

The clock is ticking: The gas industry is targeting Maryland as the next place to bring dangerous fracking. An executive order issued by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2011 put a moratorium on issuing drilling permits. But a recent state study suggested that fracking could move forward if a range of protective measures are implemented. With incoming Governor-elect Larry Hogan pledging support for fracking, CCAN is leading the charge for new legislation in 2015 that will maintain Maryland’s moratorium.

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Any move toward allowing hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for gas in Maryland would leave our communities vulnerable to the widespread harm already linked to drilling in neighboring states – including contaminated drinking water, air pollution, earthquakes, adverse health impacts, and worsening climate change.

THE FRACKING THREAT IN MARYLAND

Moratorium Rally in AnnapolisIn 2011, Governor O’Malley issued a temporary, three-year executive order that put a hold on drilling permits in Maryland and created a commission to assess whether or not fracking poses unacceptable risks to Marylanders. In late 2014, Governor O’Malley released a study outlining state agencies’ findings on the impacts of fracking, and suggesting a range of practices that, if fully implemented and enforced — could “manage” those risks to an acceptable level.

frackingrally260wWhile Gov. O’Malley’s proposed regulations are by far the toughest ever proposed in the country, they won’t eliminate the significant potential harm to Maryland’s environment and economy. Marylanders deserve real protections, especially as new studies emerge showing that fracking in nearby states is causing significant harm to people’s health, including leading to birth defects and respiratory illnesses.

CCAN is working with a coalition of public health, environmental, faith and other public interest groups to keep Maryland’s fracking moratorium in place and win the guaranteed protections our communities deserve against the many dangers of drilling. With our health, safety and climate on the line, Marylanders must have a voice in determining whether or not fracking should ever be allowed within our borders.

THE FACTS ON FRACKING

Fracking is a dangerous drilling method used to extract natural gas from shale rock. It involves drilling “L”-shaped pipelines deep underground and pumping a mixture of water, sand and toxic chemicals through them at high pressures to crack apart the rock and release gas packed within. (The chemicals used in fracking include benzene, xylene and toluene, all of which are known carcinogens.) Significant volumes of fracking fluid come back up to the surface loaded with heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and radioactive materials. This hazardous wastewater poses an enormous disposal challenge and the toxic chemicals in fracking fluid threaten to leach into our drinking water. The industrial well pads, machinery and truck traffic that come along with the drilling process disrupt rural towns, straining infrastructure, clogging roads, and adding to noise and air pollution.

Fracking is a statewide threat in Maryland. The Marcellus Shale is probably the best known gas basin in the nation. It’s an enormous underground rock formation that spans areas from New York to Virginia, including Maryland’s Garrett and Allegany counties. But that’s not all: Maryland sits atop not one, but five gas basins that the natural gas industry could frack.

  • Sign the petition: Call on Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland legislative leaders to work together for clean energy — not dangerous fracking!
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Learn More

Stories of Fracking Impacts from Across the Country


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