On the 2nd of April, Residents of MD staged a rally in Annapolis demanding the enactment of a moratorium on gas fracking in the state. Although weakened limiting the moratorium to two years, the bill passed the MD House of Delegates by a veto-proof majority.
Pressure is mounting on MD’s GOP Governor Hogan to sign the bill once it clears the Senate, the overwhelming passage in the House of Delegates involved suppport from delegates of both political parties. One of them spoke at the rally saying he preferred his tap water “non-flammable.”
After the rally, some of the participants, many from Western MD where frackers now threaten, lined up to visit the Governor’s office. Instead of allowing the meeting, security forces closed all the upper floors of the State House and claimed the governor was elsewhere. This reminded me of efforts in DC back in 2008 to meet with former Mayor Fenty about the closure of Franklin Shelter.
There is frackable shale gas in about 50% of MD. Garrett County’s clean water supplies face destruction if even a single fracking well goes bad. In neighboring Pennsylvania it was reported that about 7 percent of fracking wells leak into groundwater. There is other frackable gas under Montgomery County, PG County, and even under Annapolis itself. Fracking wells in Fredrick and Montgomery Counties could contaminate the Potomac River with chemicals WSSC cannot remove. This could poison children all over DC and even force the President to take his showers in bottled water delivered by truck to the White House in a worst-case scenario. Many living near fracking wells in Pennsylvania have been warned never to bathe in water from their contaminated wells. Also, there are the famous videos of well water with enough gas bubbles in it to sustain a flame over a faucet, as referred to by one of the speakers at the rally.