Yesterday evening, the Baltimore City Council unanimously endorsed our legislation before the state General Assembly that would place a moratorium on fracking in Maryland, adding its voice to the mounting calls for tougher scrutiny of the risks of the controversial gas drilling method.
The resolution, introduced by Councilman Bill Henry and co-sponsored by 10 council members, including Council President Bernard Young, supports passage of the “Maryland Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium and Right to Know Act of 2013,” which is being introduced in Annapolis by State Senator Rob Zirkin and State Delegate Heather Mizeur.
"The City Council is taking up this issue because it's clear that fracking can seriously impact not only the physical environment, but the health of entire communities,” said Councilman Bill Henry. “We want to make sure that when the General Assembly makes their ultimate decision about fracking’s future in Maryland, it won't be because they've been rushed, but because they have been fully informed about all of the potential risks."
This vote is another signal that Marylanders across the state are deeply concerned about the risks of fracking, and want their legislators in Annapolis to take action. Last December, more than 300 people attended Drilling Down: Maryland's first statewide conference on risks. Since then, nearly 100 activists have come to Annapolis to make their voices heard on this crucial issue.
In Pennsylvania, entire communities now have their drinking water shipped in because of contamination linked to fracking. A fracking moratorium is a common-sense step for Maryland. It will ensure the public’s right to know the impacts fracking could have on our air, water, climate and rural communities and ensure that the General Assembly has the time to take appropriate action to protect Marylanders from potential harm.
The Baltimore City Council added its voice to a growing and diverse coalition of groups and Marylanders from Garrett County all the way to the Eastern Shore, who are calling for a statewide moratorium on fracking in Maryland. A few of those groups include: CCAN, Interfaith Power & Light, NAACP, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
There are three easy things you can do to continue to continue the momentum:
1. Email your state legislators today and demand that they protect our water, air, land, and climate from this dangerous drilling practice by supporting a moratorium on fracking.
2. Sign our petition for a moratorium and then send the link to your friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers
3. Circle Wednesday, March 13th in your calendars and plan to rally with us and hundreds of Marylanders in Annapolis on that day.