Baltimore, MD — Today the Baltimore City council unanimously approved a resolution urging state lawmakers to pass a ban on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in Maryland. The resolution comes on the same day that the Hogan administration formally published draft regulations to allow fracking to begin in the state as soon as October 2017.
There is currently a moratorium on fracking in Maryland, but the temporary ban ends next year. Several state lawmakers have vowed to introduce legislation to permanently ban fracking in the upcoming General Assembly session.
“It’s encouraging to see real leadership from the Baltimore city council on this issue,” said Rianna Eckel, Maryland Organizer at Food & Water Watch. “The resolution sends a strong message to Baltimore’s representatives in Annapolis that we expect them to protect our health and communities and ban fracking in Maryland.”
Baltimore joins a growing chorus of municipalities and counties across Maryland taking action to ban fracking. Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties have banned fracking, as have the western Maryland towns of Friendsville and Mountain Lake Park. Councilmembers in Anne Arundel and Frederick Counties have called for a statewide ban, and more cities across Maryland are poised to take similar action.
“Baltimore is part of a resounding wave of action across Maryland to ban fracking,” said Brooke Harper, Maryland Field Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “The last thing Baltimore needs is another source of toxic air pollution contributing to more asthma and respiratory diseases. With this vote, the City Council is sending a strong message to legislators in Annapolis that it’s time to protect our health by banning fracking once and for all.”
The Baltimore City vote helped kick off a full week of anti-fracking demonstrations led by the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition. Additionally, this past weekend, 40 faith leaders, including 15 Baltimore-area congregations, dedicated their religious services to climate change through the 2nd annual “Climate in the Pulpits” program. From Frostburg to Baltimore to Lusby, faith leaders lifted up a ban on fracking as part of caring for creation.
“As a Baltimore City resident with a home in Western Maryland, I know the natural splendors and resources that are at risk if we frack in this state. Without a statewide ban on fracking, the rivers, waterfalls and mountains that we all hold so dearly will be destroyed,” said Citizen Shale Board Member Steve Mogge. “The city council is right to stand with our neighbors in western Maryland and call for a ban on fracking across the state.”
Contact: Brooke Harper, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Don’t Frack Maryland coalition unites more than 100 business, public interest, community, faith, food and climate groups committed to passing a permanent, statewide ban on fracking in Maryland. For more information on the statewide campaign, go to http://www.dontfrackmd.org.