Concerns persist over the shale gas extraction method known as fracking, even as drilling operations set their sights on Western Maryland — where they’ve already leased 160,000 acres for just that purpose.
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 15-member panel has suggested three bills intended to protect Marylanders against the potential dangers of the process, but two are focused on monetary compensation for fracking’s negative environmental effects and would make companies promise that they can clean up any unintended damage before drilling.
All three operate under the assumption that money can overcome any negative effect on the environment — the trick is simply dialing in the right sum. But that’s not how the environment works. Sure, you could chop down 136 trees for, say, a car race, and then turn around and plant 150 new ones, but a new tree isn’t the same as a mature one. It’s a raw deal.
Besides, with the extent of the side-effects of fracking largely unknown, what method would we use to determine the amount of reparations?
How about this solution? No fracking. That sounds fair.
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