Opting to ban Maryland fracking in areas of the state where there is little to no gas is simply a rank political move. However, the precedents could be dangerous.
The 2016 Oscars had a controversial issue surrounding the award ceremony. As a result, several celebrities said they were going to boycott the 88th Academy Awards due the lack of diversity in the nominees. While many had concern with the host, Chris Rock, I found his opening monologue to be incredible. Moreover, in retrospect, I find it had some pretty good lessons with respect to Maryland fracking.
Rock poked fun at the issue at heart, but his direct acknowledgment of the boycotting celebrities was brilliant. Confronting one particular well-known boycotter, he bluntly said it’s ok they didn’t attend, because they weren’t invited. While he used more colorful language, he hit the nail right on the head. No one cares that you are not going to the party when you’re not even invited.
Recently, Prince George’s County in Maryland decided they were not going to allow fracking and voted to tighten zoning laws to prohibit fracking in the county. Democratic Councilwoman Mary Lehman led the charge while being backed by the self-proclaimed environmental groups that we are so tired of seeing, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Food & Water Watch and the Sierra Club (all funded by the same rich people). Lehman stated: “Our action here today will lay the groundwork for a statewide ban in Maryland.”
“The public health and environmental dangers of fracking are far too real,” said Martha Ainsworth, chair of the Sierra Club’s Prince George’s County Group, welcoming the ban. “We cannot risk our and our children’s future by allowing this to happen in Prince George’s County.”
Hailed as a victory by the aforementioned environmental wacko groups, this move is portrayed as the first case in Maryland where a community has acted to outright ban fracking. There is just one problem: there’s little or no shale gas in Prince George’s County to frack! These two maps indicates but a small portion of the county is even located within a shale basin, and it’s outside the economically viable area for production of natural gas where land is actually leased. The Taylorsville Shale Basin is also marginal to begin with, compared to the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland:
NOTE: One of NaturalGasNOW’s loyal readers took the initiative to combine the two maps, offering the following:
Prince George’s County, in other words, has no gas or so little as to make it inconsequential. The county essentially just boycotted a party to which they weren’t even invited. It was a low-ball political move; an exercise of meaningless political correctness.
Similarly in 2011, New Jersey passed a ban on fracking. Republican Governor, Chris Christie backed the ban as political move. It was an easy decision for Christie as NJ lacks any significant gas reserves.
One the surface it seems Prince George’s County and New Jersey opted to ban fracking as a political move, but there is one key difference. Price George’s County is banning gas not only as a political move, but also as a precedent they are attempting to set for all of Maryland and there is viable natural gas to develop in Western Maryland. Maryland’s two-year moratorium on fracking will be coming to a close next year and setting a precedent now to outright ban fracking in one of the most populated Maryland counties could have some influence when the bill goes back to Gov. Hogan’s desk. So perhaps it is a smarter play by frackivists than we care to admit.
Maryland has been in the fracking battle for a while and the same folks who continually spread misinformation to the public about how fracking really works are applauding this particular ban. These same usual suspects have been weaseling their way to this verdict the entire time. Sitting on the advisory committee former Governor O’Malley set up, fighting Cove Point tooth and nail, and hanging from stadiums during Monday Night Football, they will continue to use fear and lies to push their blind ideology forward.
When will these so-called environmentalists learn to respect natural gas as the green, safe, and abundant resource that it is? I guess they never will and with the political landscapetoday, I only see this debate going on and on, regardless of the truth.
In the meantime, maybe some of you might want to write Councilwoman Lehman and tell her your opinions.
MARY A. LEHMAN
Member, County Council (Democrat)
County Administration Building, 2nd floor
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 – 3070