"Protect Our Health and Communities Act", Senate Bill 409, House Bill 449 (hearing in House on March 11; hearing in Senate on March 3)
Update April 10, 2015: Now amended to be a 2.5-year moratorium, the bill passed both House and Senate and now heads to Gov. Hogan's desk.
Update March 26, 2015: This bill was amended to include a 3-year moratorium (versus an 8-year moratorium), and was passed with a 91-46 (veto-proof) vote in the House. The revised bill now heads to the Senate, so if you wish to make your voice heard, please do so soon.
Hydraulic fracturing is a process for extracting natural gas from rock formations deep below the Earth's surface. It is controversial because the process poses environmental risks while at the same time offers economic benefits. Low fuel prices have increased the spending power of the average person and the growth of this new industry has created employment and enhanced business in certain areas. We have been told to think of it as a bridge to real renewables, but the relative carbon footprint of the industry compared to other fossil fuels is hotly debated. Problems arise due to the toxic chemicals used in the process that are harmful to water and wildlife as well as human health. Communites are affected by local air pollution from diesel trucks and equipment. Emissions of greenhouse gases from the wells and in transporting gas contribute to global warming. Learn more about fracking.
IPC believes that there is not sufficient evidence that fracking can be done in a way that protects the health of communities and the integrity of the natural environment and that therefore any wider implementation of this extraction method should be put on hold.
Acting from the perspective of our faith traditions and as an expression of our mission to protect the integrity of God’s Creation, IPC supports this legislation calling for an 8-year moratorium on fracking in the State of Maryland.
To express your support for this bill, we encouarge you to call or write your legislator. You can find your legislator here.