Maryland Delegate Pushes To Suspend Fracking, Pending Study | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Delegate Pushes To Suspend Fracking, Pending Study

Play associated audio

The spotlight is on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Montgomery County, as a lawmaker seeks to ban the natural gas drilling method until more research can be done.

"In other states, they've drilled first and asked questions later," said Del. Heather Mizeur. At a rally in Baltimore today, she  joined Pennsylvania land owners, like Craig Stevens, who say they believe fracking has turned their tap water brown.

"The color and the taste we're not so worried about, it's what in the water," said Stevens.

As part of the fracking process, natural gas drillers pump millions of gallons of water and chemicals underground to crack shale formations and free the gas. Critics, like Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said the process could affect water and air quality.

"I personally have a lot of questions that haven't been answered. So for example, what would be the impact on our climate? When you frack for natural gas, there's a lot of methane that's releasing  — odorless, invisible gas. Let's look at this closely. Let's have a full, robust, democratic debate."

An executive order set forth by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley already puts a hold on fracking until more research can be done, but it is not a law and Delegate Heather Mizeur says she fears natural gas companies will just wait until a new governor is in office and then begin drilling.

"There will be no drilling in the state of Maryland until or unless we have robust scientific studies on the environmental and public health impacts of this type of activity," said Mizeur.

Maryland lawmakers shot down a bill in this year's session that would have funded a two-year study. Supporters say the drilling provides energy, jobs and income for landowners, who lease their property to the natural gas companies.

NPR

Songwriter, Poet Rod McKuen Dies At 81

Rod McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums and more than 30 collections of poetry. He died on Thursday after a lengthy illness.
NPR

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

A new report from two environmental groups reviewed the recyclability and compostability of packaging from 47 food companies. It found few examples of companies that have prioritized waste reduction.
NPR

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

In considering whether to launch a presidential campaign, former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia tells Steve Inskeep his big challenge would be raising money to promote his ideas.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.