Annapolis, Md. – This afternoon, the Maryland State Senate Committee on Education, Health & Environmental Affairs passed legislation that would enact a two-year moratorium on fracking in the state. It is now very likely that the bill will be passed by the full legislature and eventually become law. In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:
“We are very encouraged that the legislature is beginning to acknowledge the will of Marylanders to keep fracking out of the state. The moratorium bill now before the State Senate would indeed guarantee that no fracking happens for at least two years. In that time, as more and more science pointing to the inherent human heath and environmental hazards of fracking continues to emerge, we will continue educating and organizing to make sure that no fracking ever comes to Maryland.”
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: Seth Gladstone – sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dot]org, 718.943.8063
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.