September 12th, 2012 by WCBC Radio
A Montgomery County lawmaker says she will sponsor a bill to ban natural gas drilling in Maryland until conclusive studies are conducted. Delegate Heather Mizeur says she fears drillers want to wait out a moratorium ordered by the governor until a two-year study is completed. Lawmakers didn't pass a bill in this year's session that would have funded a study. Mizeur told The Daily Record of Baltimore that the bill would prevent drilling until study requirements in the governor's executive order are fulfilled. Natural gas drillers pump millions of gallons of water and chemicals underground to crack shale formations and free the gas. Critics say more study is needed to ensure the process, known as fracking, is environmentally safe. Supporters say drilling provides energy, jobs and income for landowners. Western Maryland stands to benefit tremendously as Garrett and Allegany counties are rich with Marcellus shale- and the fact that that revenue stream is being bogged down by government studies is a point of frustration for local officials. Delegate Leroy Myers says a three year study of Marcellus shale is just another example of enivornmental extremists slowing economic progress.