Join co-spon­sors to sup­port frack­ing ban in Md.

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This let­ter was sent to Sen. Thomas “Mac” Mid­dle­ton. A copy was sent to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent.

There are very few mo­ments in his­tory that can be so defin­ing as the one we are liv­ing in and very few peo­ple who have the power to shape it in their life­times. As Mary­land Sen­a­tor, you have the unique abil­ity to shape the course of Mar yland’s en­vi­ron­ment and pub­lic health in per­pe­tu­ity by join­ing the 23 co-spon­sors of the ban on frack­ing in Mary­land.

As one of only 11 state leg­is­la­tures that are con­trolled by the Demo­cratic Party, lib­er­als, pro­gres­sives, in­de­pen­dents and even dis­af­fected Repub­li­cans are look­ing to states like Mary­land to be lead­ers in this tu­mul­tuous time. Frack­ing is an in­her­ently toxic process to our wa­ter­shed. By in­ject­ing chem­i­cally laden wa­ter into bedrock lay­ers, we would be risk­ing our most foun­da­tional re­source from the ground­wa­ter that we drink to the wa­ter­shed that we share with Western Mary­land.

Many of your con­stituents here in South­ern Mary­land are liv­ing on well and sep­tic sys­tems and can­not af­ford to pur­chase all drink­ing wa­ter. Al­low­ing frack­ing will open up a whole new level of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion in our re­gion that will lower real es­tate val­ues and busi­nesses in the tourism and recre­ation sec­tors will suf­fer. Thou­sands of jobs in com­mer­cial fish­ing, crab­bing and oys­ter­ing shouldn’t have to give up their liveli­hoods to sup­port the boom-bust nat­u­ral gas frack­ing jobs that are of­ten brought in by out-of-state frack­ing com­pa­nies.

I had un­der­stood your plat­form to be that of one who cares for be­ing a stew­ard of the en­vi­ron­ment. By sup­port­ing the Clean En­ergy Act, so­lar en­ergy, lim­ited oys­ter har­vests and aqua­cul­ture coun­cil, I had as­sumed that you, too, be­lieve that the path for­ward is through more clean en­ergy sources — not more drilling. Even though nat­u­ral gas is cleaner than oil to burn on the con­sumer end, it is far more dan­ger­ous in a wide­spread way than tra­di­tional drilling; it re­quires more drill sites and pol­lutes the at­mos­phere with ra­dioac­tive and cli­mate chang­ing com­pounds like meth­ane and does ir­repara­ble dam­age to the wa­ter­shed.

A mora­to­rium is not enough. It only sets up Mary­land to fight this fight over and over again, and be­sides, as this past one has shown, mora­to­ri­ums can eas­ily be short­ened and reg­u­la­tions weak­ened. There are not suf­fi­cient reg­u­la­tions that can fore­stall the dis­as­ter that it will bring to Mary­land’s frag­ile ecosys­tem. With the di­rec­tion that pol­i­tics is headed to­day, with peo­ple and par­ties be­com­ing more un­pre­dictable, we need the safety of a ban to guar­an­tee our pro­tec­tion in the years ahead.

If you join the 23 co-spon­sors of the frack­ing ban, you will be the key­stone that cre­ates the ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate and oth­ers will jump on board to fol­low your lead­er­ship. Be the cat­a­lyst and make his­tory! You con­stituents are at your side; Charles County has spo­ken to sup­port the ban. Rosa Hance, Great Mills

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