This week, Prince George’s County’s city council voted unanimously to ban natural-gas drilling–better known as fracking –throughout the county. They are the first county in the state to take such action.
Last year, Maryland passed a 2.5 year moratorium on fracking; the Prince George’s resolution takes that one step further by prohibiting the practice entirely. While Prince George’s isn’t as interesting to oil exploration companies as Maryland’s Western counties, activists are considering this both a practical and a symbolic victory, and hoping that it paves the way for future legislation in other counties.
Other counties across the nation have passed similar bans. Results have been mixed; in Texas, the state banned fracking bans; in New York, courts upheld local jurisdictions’ anti-fracking rules–and then the state banned the practice entirely.