Protesters rally at state house to oppose fracking
ANNAPOLIS — With a state moratorium on hydraulic frac- turing — or “fracking” — set to expire in eight months, Mary- land legislators and activists are throwing their support behind a permanent ban.
Activist group Don’t Frack Maryland held a rally Feb. 1 in front of the State House in Annapolis, and attracted support- ers from Maryland and nearby states who contend that frack- ing negatively impacts the envi- ronment in places it is used.
“What we want to see is a full, permanent, statewide fracking ban,” Jackie Filson, field communications officer for D.C.based consumer rights group Food & Water Watch, told the University of Maryland’s Capi- tal News Service. “Maryland’s legislators need to know [the harm fracking can cause].”
For nearly an hour protesters shouted slogans like “Don’t frack Maryland, ban fracking now” and “Fracking’s got to go,” toward the State House, where Gov. Larry Hogan (R) was preparing to give his third near hydraulically fractured oil and gas production wells and ranged in severity, from temporary changes in water quality to contamination that made private drinking water wells unusable.”
Pennsylvania resident Craig Stevens says he has participated in protests in more than a dozen states where fracking has had an environmental impact.
“Fracking contamination knows no borders,” Stevens said Wednesday.
Fracking involves pumping a mix of water, sand and chem- icals into deep underground wells, breaking apart rocks to extract the natural gas stored inside.
Hogan told The Baltimore Sun in October 2014 that he supports fracking because of its potential to boost western Maryland’s economy.
The region has experienced slower economic growth and a higher unemployment rate compared to the rest of the state. Fracking could add more than 3,000 jobs and about $100 million in wages if it were allowed, according to a 2014 Towson University study.