Letter to O’Malley: Leaders don’t Frack
More than 200 Progressive, Health and Environmental Organizations Call on Gov. O’Malley to Ban Fracking
MARYLAND – More than 200 national and statewide progressive, health, environmental and community organizations called on Gov. Martin O’Malley to protect the public’s health, lead the nation and keep fracking out of Maryland, as the public comment period on the public health study on Marcellus shale drilling closes. In a letter to the governor, the groups, including MoveOn.org, Food & Water Watch, Democracy for America, National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America and Environment America, highlight findings in the state’s study conducted by the Maryland School of Public Health that show fracking could have harmful and irreversible effects in Maryland.
“That’s the bottom line: the science…clearly shows that no regulatory framework can protect public health, water and other important resources from the negative impacts of fracking…,” the groups wrote in the letter to Gov. O’Malley. “Now we urge you to take a decisive stance for the people of Maryland, in line with the science, by saying no to fracking. Instead, protect Maryland’s important natural resources and set the stage for greater investment in renewable energy, the power of the 21st century. The eyes of the nation are watching, imploring you to protect public health and set a shining example for the rest of the country.”
In 2011 Gov. O’Malley imposed a moratorium on this type of oil and gas drilling stating that the state would only lift the moratorium if fracking “can be accomplished without unacceptable risks of adverse impacts to public health, safety, the environment and natural resources.” With results of the public health study falling far short of this standard, health professionals and environmental groups are pushing for a statewide ban on fracking.
"Fracking is a seriously dirty way to get at a mostly dirty fuel. It's not a bridge fuel to a clean energy future, it's the same dirty energy companies of the past – Halliburton, Exxon, and all the other polluters – finding a new way to bamboozle our leaders into keeping them in business," Said Drew Hudson, Director of Environmental Action. "If Gov. O'Malley is serious about a national political campaign – he needs to ban fracking. Real leaders don't frack, and they certainly don't ignore the overwhelming scientific and public health of their own reports to do it."
“Governor O’Malley is traveling extensively throughout the country to places like Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire in an effort to raise his national profile and tout his environmental record, but the national movement against fracking is watching what is happening in Maryland closely,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Should Governor O’Malley open the state to fracking, that is what people will remember about him. It’s time for Governor O’Malley to look at the science showing that fracking is a threat to public health, the environment and the climate and to ban fracking in Maryland.”
“Fracking is known to be harmful to health and dangerous for the environment,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. “That’s why National Nurses United is deeply concerned about the fracking frenzy going on in our country. Maryland should not be added to the list of states that put oil and gas company interests over people’s health and the health of our planet.”
“Governor O’Malley’s own study and a growing body of independent science show that fracking poses grave impacts to our environment and public health,” said Joanna Diamond, director of Environment Maryland. “The governor has a responsibility to all Maryland residents to reject fracking.”
”MoveOn members in Maryland and around the country are looking to Governor O’Malley to take a decisive stance for the people of Maryland, in line with the science, by saying no to fracking,” said Victoria Kaplan, Lead Campaign Director for MoveOn.org Civic Action. “Governor O’Malley has an opportunity to lead the way towards a future of renewable energy, good jobs, and a healthy environment–and the whole country is watching.”
“If Governor O’Malley is serious about representing the progressive ‘Warren-wing’ of the Democratic party, he should know better than to do Wall Street’s bidding and put the health of millions at risk by allowing fracking to come to Maryland on his watch,” said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America, a national progressive organization with more than 20,000 members in Maryland and one million members nationwide. “Democrats are looking for national leaders who will stand up and fight growing income inequality, not cave to the special interest forces on Wall Street who advocate for fracking at any cost.”
“Progressive Democrats across the country believe we need a new bold energy policy – one that says no to fracked gas and oil and commits to an aggressive transition to a 100 percent renewable energy future,” said Andrea Miller, Co-Executive Director of the Progressive Democrats of America. “Fracking is inherently unsafe, and we are looking intently at whether Governor O’Malley will greenlight fracking or side with the people and the environment and keep Maryland frack free.”
“Gov. O’Malley has been in Iowa quite a few times recently to test the waters to run for president,” said Adam Mason, State Policy Director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund. “We are watching closely what he is doing as governor in Maryland to protect the public from the harms created by fracking and factory farms. We want our elected officials to stand up corporate polluters.”