Anti-Fracking Poll Pushes Misinformation to Marylanders
A new poll, commissioned by Chesapeake Climate Action Network – a group that is aggressively advocating for a ban on fracking in Maryland – claims that 68 percent of Maryland voters oppose hydraulic fracturing in the state. However, a closer look at the question shows it to be disingenuous to say the least. Here’s the question in full:
“After more than six years of study, the New York State Health Department declared in December that “fracking” for natural gas posed too many human and environmental health risks to be done safely, so the governor banned the practice of fracking in the state. In Maryland, no fracking yet occurs, but the studies have found that fracking here would pose similar risks. Knowing this, which of these options comes closest to what you think Maryland’s legislature should do?” (emphasis added)
And here some of answers to choose from:
“Ban fracking in Maryland outright, as New York State did.”
“Place a long term moratorium or hold on fracking until new studies show it can be done with little risk.”
“Allow Governor Hogan to decide whether fracking will occur in Maryland.”
The bolded section above is demonstrably false. As EID has previously reported, Maryland’s Departments of Environment and Natural Resources – under Democratic Governor Martin O’Mally’s administration – released a report late last year finding that the risks of fracking are absolutely manageable under Maryland’s regulatory scheme. The three year study concluded:
“It is the judgment of the Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources that provided all the recommended best practices are followed and the State is able to rigorously monitor and enforce compliance, the risks of Marcellus Shale development can be managed to an acceptable level.” (emphasis added)
Chesapeake Climate Action Network is looking to piggy back off New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State. But as EID revealed, studies developed and peer reviewed by well-known anti-fracking activists were used to push the ill-advised ban, which has now left the state’s southern tier in economic ruins with residents looking to succeed from the state and join Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth.
Maryland is in a position to develop its shale resources safely and responsibly. A Towson University report found that counties hosting development will benefit from thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in newfound revenue. Before leaving office, Governor O’Malley recognized these benefits, stating that Maryland was ready to move forward with fracking:
“We’re committed to ensuring that Marylanders have access to the economic opportunities associated with fracking.”
Now the question becomes: why do these groups feel they need to resort to these kinds of deceptive tactics? Could it be that they don’t have the science on their side?