Maryland’s legislature has officially voted to ban fracking within its borders. Yesterday, the Senate voted 35-10 in favor of banning hydraulic fracturing, a little over two weeks after the House of Delegates passed the same ban bill with a veto-proof margin. How Maryland banned fracking is pretty interesting, especially in light of the complete undoing of environmental laws by the Trump administration.
The decision to frack or not in Maryland is finally upon us. Even though most of us don’t live in western Maryland atop the natural gas fields, our state senators and delegates will cast votes to either ban fracking permanently, continue a moratorium or allow fracking permits in October 2017. Here’s the inside news about Maryland’s fracking fight, as well as the best actions you can take to make your voice heard about fracking’s fate in western Maryland.
When your home’s heater turned on this chilly morning, it was most likely powered by natural gas that bubbled up from underground through fracking. After ten years and 137,000 wells drilled in the U.S., by May 2017, our state will be the last in the union to decide whether to frack. Fracking is important to understand because our country’s fossil fuel energy strategy rests on fracking.
Though we live three hours from Western Maryland’s potential fracking fields, you have a voice in whether our state fracks or not. During the 2017 Maryland General Assembly, your state senator and three delegates will cast your vote to either ban fracking permanently, or to allow permits in October 2017.
Over the next few months, we’ll bring you up-to-speed with short articles that will zero-in on one fracking topic to help you make an informed decision about fracking.
We wondered in a recent article if Governor Hogan would sign Maryland’s two-and-half-year fracking moratorium. Surprising many, the fracking ban was overwhelmingly voted in by Maryland’s General Assembly making it veto-proof. Hogan did not sign, nor did he veto the ban. On May 29, 2015, the inaction meant the “fracking pause” quietly became law. No fracking permits will be issued by Maryland through October 1, 2017.True to the idea of compromise, both sides won, ensuring that fracking remains a hotly contested topic.
When I heard that Maryland’s Senate voted 45-2 on Monday night to ban fracking for two and half years, I almost fell off my chair.This bill didn’t suffer the usual fracking bill death in the Senate. Even Republicans from Western Maryland voted in favor. What happened? Taking a peek into the series of events that surrounded the fracking ban gives hope that political compromise can happen and that everyday citizens play a part in our country’s energy policy. The House passed the Senate’s version 102-34 with another veto-proof vote. The next question is: Will Hogan sign it?