Fracking Protests in Front of State House

Image from Gaithersburg Patch.

Image from Gaithersburg Patch.

January 10, 2014

By Dr. Tyra OldhamLANDsds Sustainable Voice News

As much as natural gas is in boom the naysayers are also in many.  As the saying goes for any reaction there is a equal and opposite reaction. This too exists in in fracking.  In Maryland the reaction to “Fracking protest kicks off Assembly” in front of the State House on environmental concerns.

The news that “Environmentalists concerned about shale gas drilling in Maryland returned to Annapolis Wednesday to try again for a legislative moratorium on “fracking,” as the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing is called. The Baltimore Sun reported there were a “Waving signs and chanting “Protect us from fracking,” activists huddled in Lawyers Mall in front of the State House just before the opening of the 90-day session of the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker called for lawmakers to block any drilling in Maryland until studies determine if it can be done safely.”

The moratorium bid – one of the environmental community’s top legislative priorities – has failed in previous years, at least partly because the state has had a de facto fracking ban since 2011. That’s when Gov. Martin O’Malley ordered a commission to study the technique.  Del. Heather R. Mizeur, a Montgomery County Democrat who has championed concerns about fracking’s impact, greeted the rally and drew cheers,” reports Baltimore Sun.

Activists have voiced wide-ranging concerns about fracking, including its potential to contaminate ground- and surface water. Regulators in other states have generally failed to find more than isolated problems, but opponents have suggested the industry has avoided close scrutiny elsewhere.

More information on drilling has been found to adverse effects on the environment such as, “Other potentially gas-bearing deposits have been identified in central and southern Maryland, they said. There have been news reports that a Texas energy company has leased 80,000 acres in Virginia over the Taylorsville Basin, one such deposit that stretches across the Potomac River as far north as Anne Arundel County. Drew Cobbs, executive director of the Maryland Petroleum Council, dismissed activists’ attempts to portray fracking as a statewide issue. He noted that the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated gas prospects in other parts of the state are miniscule by comparison with the energy locked in the Marcellus shale in the west.”

It was noted that not only were activists committed to the protest “but the project has powerful supporters, including labor unions and many elected officials in southern Maryland. Dominion says building the export facility would generate 3,000 construction jobs and $3.8 billion in investment. ”

The pendulum of emotions on this boom are coming out of varied research and yet, the full impact of fracking will not be realized for some time.  The impact of fracking on the three E’s (economy, environment and energy) draw differing political positions that make the varied voices complex. The ability to disagree but understand that every reaction has an opposite or equal reaction still holds that there is truth on both sides.

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Posted in Energy, Environment, Fracking, Government, Natural Gas, Sustainability Nexuses, Voice News, Wastewater

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