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Misguided House proposal to ban natural gas development ignores Maryland families and consumers

Reid Porter | 202.682.8114 |

Annapolis, Md., March 10, 2017 – Maryland Petroleum Council (MPC) Executive Director Drew Cobbs said today that legislation (HB1325) to ban hydraulic fracturing would prohibit a process that benefits every Marylander every day.  It is also at odds with Maryland voters, who – according to two recent and separate polls – support development of natural gas resources in Western Maryland by more than a two-to-one margin across all regions of the state, and oppose a fracking ban, according a recent Goucher Poll.

“Hydraulic fracturing has been proven safe, and Western Maryland could gain from new job creation and economic benefits,” said Cobbs. “This proposal to ban the technology not only ignores the views of Maryland voters, but could also undermine the benefits that Maryland families and consumers are already seeing today.”

In December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized its six-year, multi-million dollar, national study of hydraulic fracturing and did not find evidence that the process leads to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. As natural gas from domestic shale energy production has increased in the U.S., since 2006, air pollution from electric utilities has declined significantly in Maryland. Governor O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Commission also noted that, with the right regulations, hydraulic fracturing could be accomplished safely in Maryland.

Clean-burning natural gas has helped drive emissions in the U.S. power sector to 25-year lows and household budgets across the nation grew in 2015 by $1,337 due to utility and other energy-related savings in 2015. As consumers of natural gas, Maryland residents and businesses benefit from significant savings when compared with other energy sources. 

“Our industry has a long history of providing economic and environmental benefits,” said Cobbs. “Whether it is turning your lights on, heating your home, using many different consumer products or driving your car – hydraulic fracturing has made energy more available and driven down energy costs for all Americans.” 

MPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.