11:00 AM EDT, March 15, 2014
I would like to comment on the March 10 op-ed, "Shale study should stick to timeline." I object to the comforting tone of the commentary in describing the current situation as being "on track." Marylanders should know that the commission's work is under significant time pressure and may not be completed by Aug. 1. This has been openly discussed between MDE staff and commissioners. Front and center should be the fact that we need protection in place before Gov. Martin O'Malley's executive order against fracking expires on August 1.
There is enormous public resistance to fracking in Maryland, and we can be sure the General Assembly is aware of it. In Annapolis this session, there are bills to ban fracking completely and others to extend Governor O'Malley's moratorium on fracking. As of Aug. 1, there will be absolutely no protection in place for Maryland communities. This legislative session is the last chance to put something in place before then. The commentators refer to SB 745, whose purpose is to provide time to complete the studies. The commentators mischaracterize SB 745 by calling it a hindrance and implying it will cause confusion. It is the necessary continuation of protection until the reports are not just written but read and used.
Karie Firoozmand, Timonium-
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