Maryland has placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” for energy extraction in the state until October 2016.
The bill became law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) signature and contrasts strongly with Oklahoma’s embrace of fracking.
Hogan was elected in 2014 after campaigning as a strong supporter of fracking. During the campaign, he cited a 2014 study from Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute that found hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland could generate more than 3,000 jobs and upwards of $5 million in new tax revenue each year during peak drilling. Hogan said the state was “sitting on an economic gold mine.”
The law, approved by veto-proof margins in both houses of the Democrat-controlled legislature, went into effect May 29.
Lack of Knowledge Cited
Gary Stone, vice president of engineering for Five States Energy, says Maryland’s limited experience with the process and benefits of fracking may have contributed to support for the ban.