December 1, 2014

Maryland Governor Signals Support For Fracking In Western Part Of State

The Washington Post reported last Tuesday that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will next month announce new regulations that will allow for natural gas drilling, or fracking, to soon begin in the western part of his state. The Post said the regulations would be among the most “restrictive” in the nation and will include “efforts to limit the risks of drinking-water contamination and air pollution.” Additionally, “Maryland would be the first state to require prospective applicants for drilling permits to submit a five-year plan so the state could oversee efforts to deal with any damage to the environment.” 

A report also issued last week by the O’Malley administration said, with the governor’s proposed rules, fracking would pose little environmental threat to the state and “could bring hundreds of new jobs and several million dollars in additional tax revenue to Allegany and Garrett counties.” (The full report can be found here.) The new rules will not take effect, and fracking will not begin, until at least 2015, which is after Gov. O’Malley’s term ends. Incoming Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has promised to review the rules once he takes office.