Maryland House votes to ban fracking by veto-proof margin by Michael Dresser, March 10, 2017, The Baltimore Sun
The Maryland House voted to ban the natural gas extraction method known as fracking.
The House of Delegates voted by a veto-proof margin on Friday to ban in the natural gas extraction method known as fracking in Maryland, sending the bill to the Senate.
Delegates voted 97-40 — 12 more than needed to override a possible veto by Gov. Larry Hogan — after a lengthy debate during which lawmakers from Western Maryland pleaded with their colleagues not to stand in the way of what they portrayed as an economic lifeline for the struggling region.
Garrett and Allegany counties are seen as the parts of the state most likely to have gas deposits that could be reached by fracking.
The majority, including a handful of Republicans, voted to ban the practice after hearing arguments that science shows that the risk of earthquakes, water contamination and health problems increases in fracked areas.
Del. Kumar Barve, chairman of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, welcomed the margin of victory.
“That gives us momentum to win in the Senate,” the Montgomery County Democrat said.
His Senate counterpart, Sen. Joan Carter Conway, has said she doesn’t want to pass a ban with less than a veto-proof margin.
Without enough votes to override a veto, the Baltimore Democrat contends, it would be better to just extend a moratorium on the method technically called hydraulic fracturing.
Barve expressed confidence that there will be a veto-proof majority in the state Senate. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2016 01 20: The only safe fracking regulation is a ban
2016 09 28: Maryland’s new frac regulations to prohibit frac’ing within 2,000 feet of private drinking water wells (what about municipal?) and require companies to replace any water supply contaminated by frac’ing (what if companies and regulators always blame nature?)
2015 05 05: Secondhand Smoke: “Pollution from our fracking wells in Pennsylvania may be drifting down to Maryland, raising ethane levels in the state to unhealthy levels”
2015 04 30: New Study says Fracking Wells Could Pollute The Air Hundreds Of Miles Away
2015 03 27: Maryland Senate Passes Bill, 93-45, To Declare Fracking An “ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous activity”
2015 03 19: Maryland amendment that would have removed words “ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous” describing fracing from bill holding companies liable for damages fails by 20-26 vote
2014 08 18: Frac’ing could threaten air quality, workers’ and public health, University of Maryland report says
2013 12 30: Detailed scoping report: Potential public health impacts of natural gas development and production in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland
2013 01 18: Maryland Delegates: Children’s Environmental Health Report Provides Fuel for Change to protect children from fracking chemicals
2012 07 26: Consumer Groups and Lawmakers Call for Statewide Fracking Ban in Maryland