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Bills to Ban Fracking in Maryland Die in State Legislature

Jim Watson / AFP Getty Images

The Maryland State Capitol.

Bills aimed at halting fracking in Maryland died in the state legislature this week.
The Cumberland Times News reports that after a state Senate committee defeated a ban yesterday, a similar measure in the House was withdrawn:

A bill that would have placed a moratorium on drilling for natural gas via hydraulic fracturing, pending further study, has been withdrawn in the House of Delegates after late adverse action on a similar Senate bill Wednesday night.
All bills that would have imposed a moratorium or banned fracturing have now been defeated or withdrawn in the Maryland General Assembly. However, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s advisory commission continues its work, and during that time, no permits for drilling will be issued in Maryland.
A Senate committee also defeated a bill that would have outright banned fracturing Wednesday.

Meanwhile, New York continues to wrestle with its fracking moratorium.
Earlier this week the state’s Democratically controlled Assembly passed a bill to extend the moratorium for two more years, but it’s unclear whether the measure could make it through the state Senate, or get the signature of the governor.
Even if Pennsylvania’s neighboring states decide to embrace gas drilling, it’s unlikely to impact the industry here in the near future.

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