For Immediate Release
Rich Bindell, Food & Water Watch, 202-683-2457, Rbindell@fwwatch.org
Shale Commission Report Cites Dangers, But Presumes Fracking Inevitable in Maryland
Consumer, health and environment groups to O’Malley: Don’t put oil and gas industry in driver’s seat; Ban fracking in Maryland
WASHINGTON - Americans Against Fracking and 24 national, state, and local groups representing public health, consumers and the environment, submitted a letter to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, expressing serious concerns about the push to approve fracking in the state. The groups cited the findings of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s (MSAC’s) draft report on fracking, which warns that fracking could have significant negative impacts in Maryland, yet presumes it is inevitable and should be regulated rather than prohibited in Maryland.
The coalition letter highlights significant flaws in the Commission’s approach, including weak and ineffective proposed regulations, its misguided engagement with the industry backed Center for Sustainable Shale Development, and its failure to consider keeping fracking out of Maryland as a necessary measure to protect public health and the environment.
“Rather than trying to mitigate the negative impacts of fracking, Governor O’Malley and his Shale Advisory Commission should be working to protect Marylanders’ water, food, air, health, and communities from its significant negative impacts,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “We are calling on Governor O’Malley to be clear and purposeful by prioritizing the health and safety of his constituents over the profits of big oil and gas companies and continue to keep Maryland frack free.”
“Despite citizen concerns and warnings from independent scientists and public health officials about the negative impacts of fracking, our state government seems intent on finding rationales for issuing permits,” said Frederick Tutman, the Patuxent Riverkeeper. “The Governor’s own task force echoes those same concerns, yet inexplicably presumes that fracking should happen in Maryland. There is no safe way to frack our state and we need Governor O’Malley to take action to set this Commission on a different course – a course to protect our water, air, health and communities.
“We have already seen the negative environmental repercussions of fracking in communities all across the country,” said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. “The people of Maryland need Gov. Martin O’Malley to be a leader and protect the Old Line state from suffering the same fate.”
You can view the letter here: Letter to Maryland Governor O’Malley
The groups who have signed on to the letter to Governor O’Malley include, Americans Against Fracking and advisory committee members Josh Fox and Natalie Merchant, Blue Water Baltimore, Breast Cancer Action, Center for Biological Diversity, Community Research, Democracy for America, Energy Justice, Environment Maryland, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Gunpowder Riverkeeper, Maryland PIRG, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Montgomery Countryside Alliance, Montgomery County Young Democrats, National Nurses United, Organic Consumers Association, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Progressive Democrats of America, Project T.O.O.U.R., Inc. (Teaching Our Own Understanding and Responsibility), Sassafras Riverkeeper, Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, Inc.
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.