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Ban on energy development would be a loss for Maryland families and consumers

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

Annapolis, Md., March 17, 2017 – Maryland Petroleum Council (MPC) Executive Director Drew Cobbs said today that Governor Hogan’s announced support for a ban of hydraulic fracturing to develop natural gas resources in Maryland was a premature decision, prior to the Senate’s opportunity to vote.

“Maryland families and opportunities for job creation have lost out to the whims of a vocal minority – inconsistent with the Governor’s vision to create well-paying jobs in Maryland. This political outcome fails Maryland, whose voters support development of natural gas resources, and the hardworking men and women in Western Maryland who were looking forward to thousands of jobs.

“Previous Governor O’Malley was prepared to allow hydraulic fracturing in Western Maryland with strict safeguards, among the most restrictive in the United States. This recognized the opportunity represented by energy development for new job creation and economic benefits and the success of our neighboring states. Any uninformed ban on a proven technology used for over 60 years is short-sighted and ignores the robust science that supports the innovative process used next door in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have fueled the American energy renaissance that Maryland benefits from year-round. Natural gas produced from hydraulic fracturing has driven 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. Cutting off opportunities for local production could undermine the benefits that Maryland families and consumers are already seeing today.”

A report by the Sage Policy Group found that natural gas drilling in Maryland would support more than 1,800 jobs annually, with a labor income impact of more than $85 million. The value added to the economy is estimated at well over $316 million.

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.