As many of you now know, I have been pushing hard for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in Maryland; and, to that end, will be introducing legislation that would accomplish this goal this coming session.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at an Environment Maryland event on the issue and made the following points:
- A ban is not only the appropriate course of action for the environment, it is the solution favored by the constituents I’ve been speaking with–scientists, business owners, teachers, parents, et al.
- I don’t want our land to be a testing ground for a flawed process: We shouldn’t be risking public and environmental health so that massive energy companies can profit financially by extracting more fossil fuels. Instead, we should be focusing on improving renewable energy sources in Maryland, such as offshore wind energy.
- The argument that it will bring jobs to our state is a fallacy: Studies have shown an average of two jobs created per well, the majority of which go to out-of-state workers with experience in the field. Also, the extracted gas may end up being shipped overseas.
The good news is that we don’t need to frack Maryland. We can preserve our environment and protect our public health while working to become a national leader in renewable energy. At the state level, we can implement policies that prioritize renewable energy, instead of doing the bidding of the oil and gas industry by expanding fossil fuel extraction. But, to be successful, we need to come together. Please join me, along with organizations like Food and Water Watch and Environment Maryland, as we fight for a clean energy future.
I look forward to hearing from you on fracking and other issues as the legislative session draws near.