Statement from Mike Tidwell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Contact: Mike Tidwell, 240-460-5838,
“The Chesapeake Climate Action Network commends Governor O’Malley and his agency leaders for their work in producing today’s Findings and Recommendations as part of the ‘Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative.’ CCAN does not believe this report proves the case that fracking can be done with acceptable public health and environmental safety in Maryland. However, there are groundbreaking and feasible recommendations within this report that should be carefully studied and potentially adopted by neighboring states which – unlike Maryland – have already allowed the active drilling process of fracking for shale gas. Indeed, if fully implemented, many of these ‘best management practices’ would limit the harm already being inflicted nationwide by this controversial gas drilling practice.
“In particular, from the perspective of global warming pollution, Governor O’Malley has offered a first-ever rule that would result in ‘zero methane leakage’ from the fracking process. The report today shows that — by combining the best available drilling technology with the purchase of carbon ‘offsets’ — companies now already fracking in other states can, with rigorous enforcement, effectively reduce to zero the destructive release of the potent greenhouse gas methane. Methane leakage from fracking is a major threat to the global climate and is the subject of worldwide concern among scientists and policy makers. Governor O’Malley today has proposed a real solution to this gas leakage threat.
“But for Maryland, CCAN believes that the safest strategy for drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale is to not drill for that gas at all. With sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change now directly harming Maryland and much of the world, climate scientists say 80 percent of the world’s known reserves of fossil fuels must stay in the ground if we are to have any hope of stabilizing the world’s atmosphere. This includes the Marcellus Shale gas reserve in America’s central Appalachian Mountains.
“Instead of opening Maryland to the drilling of more fossil fuels, state leaders should continue Governor O’Malley’s proven past commitment to carbon-free wind and solar power. Legislation to double the state’s target for clean electricity will be before the General Assembly in 2015. The legislation would set aside 40% of the state’s electrical grid for renewable sources of power, thus doubling such energy in our state by the year 2025.”
To view the full report, click here:

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