Annapolis, Md. – On Monday night, the Maryland State Senate passed legislation, voting 45-2, that would prohibit fracking permits in the in the state until October 2017. In response, Dr. Ann Bristow, a commissioner on Governor O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, issued the following statement on behalf of the Don’t Frack Maryland campaign:
“We are pleased the Maryland Senate passed a bill that explicitly prohibits fracking permits from being issued in the state before October 2017—a two and a half year moratorium. This moratorium will give legislators more time to evaluate the public health, economic and societal dangers of fracking, and give our communities statutory protections against drilling in the meantime. Although the amended version of the moratorium bill now requires that the regulations being drafted by the Administration be completed by October 2016, we are confident that the General Assembly will realize that there is no peer-reviewed evidence that fracking can be effectively regulated. We are unconvinced that a regulatory approach can protect Maryland, and we are also disappointed the panel to review the available public health studies on fracking was removed from the original bill. Therefore, we will redouble our work educating and organizing across the state prior to the 2017 legislative session.”
Background: During the legislative session, more than 100 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, [email protected], 202-683-4925