We have until Feb. 9 to tell the state’s Department of the Environment (MDE) what we think of proposed regulations for fracking in Maryland. And we have only to look at the “assumptions” listed in the regulations to know they are little more than snake oil, offering no protections from this industry.
Here are three key assumption used for these regulations:
E(1). “There will be positive economic impacts to environmental consultants and laboratories for the additional work that will be required by the regulations.”
Of course, we will also see “positive economic impacts” for physicians who treat people complaining of rashes, headaches, shortness of breath or hair loss. As some of the chemicals used in fracking and the emissions from well pads and compressors are known endocrine disrupters and carcinogens, we might years hence also see “positive economic impacts” for oncologists or hospitals treating babies with birth defects. These regulations are positive only in the sense that hurricanes are positive for builders and car crashes are positive for lawyers. Continue reading Fracking: Snake Oil for Marylanders→
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s announcement that the state will move forward with establishing regulations for hydraulic fracturing — fracking — in Maryland leaves behind a terrible legacy. He has secured his place in history as the one who opened up the state to the inherent risks of the practice, which involves horizontal drilling and the fracturing of underground rock with pressurized water and chemicals to release gas deposits, despite Marylanders’ growing opposition to it.
While he has been traveling the country touting his progressive credentials, the governor simultaneously mishandled the decision of whether to allow fracking in Maryland, essentially establishing a timeline for creating fracking regulations well before the key health and environmental assessments had been concluded.
It’s obvious that Governor O’Malley is not the progressive leader he wants us to believe he is, and he’s certainly no champion in the fight against climate change. As many of us in the movement to ban fracking have pointed out, climate leaders don’t frack. Continue reading There is no safe fracking, Mr. O’Malley→
Governor O’Malley finally answered the question of if or when to allow fracking in Maryland with his release yesterday of final recommendations for regulating hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Western Maryland. Maryland did apply the breaks and approach the question of whether or not to frack with caution through analysis by the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, unlike Pennsylvania and West Virginia that have rushed to frack. Unfortunately, the commission’s analysis, especially with regards to public health and risks assessment, is seriously flawed and ignores tens of thousands of Marylanders who oppose fracking.