In April, Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan signed a bill establishing a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the state. The ban, which puts a complete stop to any development of the Marcellus Shale, went into effect on October 1. As the third state to ban fracking, and the first with gas reserves ever to do it legislatively, this is huge.
The Maryland fracking ban is a symbol of what local organizing, people power, and building political will can do. But it’s also a recognition that a clean energy future can be bipartisan.
At a time when it feels like the divide between Democrats and Republicans is growing larger and larger, this win speaks volumes to what can compel us all to work together: preserving our planet for future generations. While the federal administration and current President are beholden to Big Energy and deny climate change, Maryland’s ban proves that on the local and state levels there is a clear avenue for environmental wins.
Maryland’s ban proves that on the local and state levels there is a clear avenue for environmental wins
It is absolutely necessary that we move off the fossil fuels that are driving climate chaos and onto renewable energy instead. Devastating hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and other climate disasters are destroying our communities.. Now is the time for permanent, transformative policy changes.
As we celebrate the Maryland ban, let’s make sure we don’t just sit back and enjoy the rolling hills and rushing waterfalls of the forever frack-free Western Maryland. Instead, let’s gear up for the next fight.
Pending Fracking Fights
Illinois: Many recall the contentious battle between industry and frontline communities that took place in 2012. Now, the very first well has been approved for drilling in White County. While extreme extraction is a bad idea anywhere, Illinois is an especially vulnerable to fracking, given its seismic instability and high natural levels of radioactivity in the area. Food & Water Watch has been the most vocal organization to call for a ban in Illinois since the beginning, and we’re reuniting the coalition to ensure not a single well is drilled.
Pennsylvania: Meanwhile in PA, years of grassroots campaigning against fracking in the Delaware River watershed are materializing into a win. The Delaware River Basin Commission is likely to formally propose a permanent ban on fracking, thus protecting the water supply for 15 million people in the region. But we’re not ready to declare victory just yet; the commissioners may propose a plan to ban fracking, but approve the storage of toxic, radioactive fracking waste. We didn’t invest years of hard work to win a half victory, so expect this fight to intensify next year.
The movement to ban fracking and build a clean energy revolution is only going to continue to grow. As we celebrate the success we had in Maryland, we’re getting our ducks in a row to ramp up our pending fracking fights across the country. It’s up to us to save our communities from being ravaged apart in the name of dirty energy.