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Opponents of fracking in Maryland have introduced a bill calling for a state moratorium on the natural gas drilling technique until studies are completed on its impact. The bill calls for an 18-month moratorium to protect against immediate pressure to drill once the first round of studies on the issue is completed.
Gov. Martin O'Malley issued an executive order in 2011 creating a commission to study the impact of fracking, but critics have said funding had not been provided for the analysis.
Last month, O'Malley proposed $1.5 million for stream sampling, economic analysis and a public health review. Fracking uses water and chemicals to break up shale formations. Critics say it can pollute groundwater. Supporters say it can be an economic boon to rural areas.