Western Maryland Landowners: We Oppose A Fracking Ban
Shane Grady is a member of the Energy and Property Rights Coalition that represents nearly 100 farmers and landowners in Western Maryland.
Landowners from Western Maryland turned out today to oppose Senate Bill 0740 at a hearing on the proposed legislation held in Annapolis. This bill, and a similar bill in the House (HB 1325), would place a statewide ban on the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, based on misinformation that has been circulated on the process from activists in other parts of the state and elsewhere. A ban of this nature would stifle economic development in Western Maryland, and trample on the property rights of Maryland’s citizens.
While I wasn’t able to attend the rally and hearing today with fellow residents who support the development of our natural resources, here is the written testimony I submitted:
“On behalf of the Energy and Property Rights Coalition, representing nearly 100 landowners and farmers in Western Maryland, and as a concerned citizen and resident of Garret County, I am writing you to encourage you and your committee to OPPOSE SB 0740/HB 1325.
We continue to be disappointed in the lack of confidence the legislature has displayed towards the efforts of MDE and DNR, who have been diligently working on reviewing and revising the natural gas extraction regulations proposed by the O’Malley Administration. The proposed regulations represent a compromise that heavily impairs the value and marketability of our gas by making it extremely difficult and costly to produce with the objective of minimizing the impact of that production on the environment, the health of the surrounding population and the surrounding property. We feel the state has fulfilled its responsibility and should step back and allow both parties to compromise. Please don’t let your personal views override science and take away the rights and property of Maryland citizens by passing a ban bill!
We hereby request an unfavorable vote for Senate Bill 0740. Please vote NO!!
We felt strongly that you should hear from local Western MD citizens with long ties to this state. This area continues to struggle economically. We are losing jobs to West Virginia and Pennsylvania. We have closed three elementary schools in the last few years. Our young people cannot get any jobs here other than those involved in seasonal tourism — so any young people with talent or desire for education leave the area, never to return. We NEED economic development and are properly poised to create an energy corridor capitalizing on several of our natural and human resources. Utilizing our natural resources has long been part of the heritage and history of Western Maryland. It is a proven economic driver and major employer in the region. With proper stewardship and management, which we do advocate, this can continue through natural gas extraction while balancing concerns expressed regarding our tourism industry.
Please don’t hamper our ability for success!”