The article "'Fracking' brings prosperity, problems to Pennsylvania" (Mar. 9) provides an excellent overview of the controversy surrounding hydraulic fracturing. It's important to highlight the great costs of fracking, both environmentally and economically.
Fracking can be disastrous for the environment in numerous ways, and these effects have real economic costs. This process can damage local roads from increased truck traffic, harm natural resources and wildlife, contaminate groundwater and cause housing shortages. Overwhelmed local governments are forced to tackle these issues, and they then look to taxpayers for funding. Additionally, the health problems associated with fracking are costly, not only in terms of treatments but also in reduced productivity and lost wages. On top of that, many homeowners face the problem of decreased property values, rendering them unable to sell their homes.
The divisive issue of fracking is not solely an environment-versus-economy debate. From all we've seen in neighboring Pennsylvania, the costs of fracking certaintly outweigh its benefits. To protect the citizens of Maryland, we must realize that fracking is not worth it, and prevent this costly process in our state.
Erika Burns, Baltimore