Del. Karen Lewis Young says the process could affect public health & safety.
Annapolis, Md (KM). More than 50 co-sponsors signed on to a bill introduced last week to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Maryland. One of them was Frederick County Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D).
“There’s a lot of danger issues, as well as chemical issues. There’s been reports of contaminating water supplies. There’s a strong belief that’s tied to data and experience that fracking causes earthquakes,” she said.
Spokespeople with the extraction industry says fracking does not cause water contamination.
The main sponsor of the bill is Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (D) from Montgomery County.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the State Senate.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling down deep into the earth and using chemicals and water to extract natural gas. Fracking is taking place on the east coast along the Marcellus Shale Formation which extends from New York state through Pennsylvania and into Garrett and Allegheny Counties in western Maryland.
The State of Maryland has a fracking moratorium which lasts through October, 2017. It allows the Department of the Environment to develop regulations covering hydraulic fracturing.
Delegates and state senators in Garrett and Allegheny Counties have asked that fracking be allowed in their districts, claiming it would bring high paying jobs and economic growth to the area. But Delegate Lewis Young says allowing hydraulic fracturing may hurt tourism in that section of the state. “And I’m just concerned that as a result of fracking, given its history throughout other areas of the United States, that it could actually hurt that business which is one of the main revenue generators for that area of our state,” she says.
A hearing on this bill is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd before the House Environment and Transportation Committee starting at 1:00 PM.
By Kevin McManus