Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Annapolis, Md. – Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed legislation, voting 102-34, that would prohibit fracking permits in the state until October 2017. In response, Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, issued the following statement:
“After months of campaigning, a bill that prohibits fracking for two and a half years passed overwhelmingly in the Maryland legislature today. This is a testament to the growing movement to protect our communities from the dangers of fracking. Conventional wisdom in the state was that we could never get a moratorium passed in Maryland, just as we were also told we could never get a ban in New York. But naysaying just inspired us all to work harder in bringing the voice of the people to Annapolis in this grassroots initiative. Now it is time for Governor Hogan to heed the call of the people and sign the bill that gives Marylanders more time to examine the impacts of fracking.”
Background: During the legislative session, more than100 Western Maryland business owners have signed a letter to the leadership of the General Assembly in support of the fracking moratorium. The Don’t Frack Maryland campaign has also sent over 25,000 messages to legislators supporting a moratorium. Letters signed by more than 100 health professionals, and more than 50 restaurant owners, chefs, winemakers and farmers from across the state have also been delivered to the General Assembly. The Friendsville Town Council, whose city is the center of a thriving white-water rafting industry in the state, sent a letter supporting a moratorium to President Miller, urging him to encourage a vote in the Senate.
More than 425 peer-reviewed scientific studies on the effects of shale gas development now exist, and 75 percent of those have been published since January 2013. Of the 49 studies that investigated the health effects of fracking, 47 – over 96 percent – found risks or adverse health outcomes.
Contact: Ryanne Waters – rwaters[at]fwwatch[dot]org, 202.683.4925