Fracking ban is a good start

Maryland just took a bold step forward in the name of public health and fighting climate change by banning fracking ("As Hogan signs fracking ban, environmentalists question his record," April 5). While this victory is a testament to the power of thousands of Marylanders speaking out and holding their elected representatives accountable, we cannot forget about the damage currently being done to our federal environmental protections.

For Maryland to ban fracking is no small feat. The state's decision not only helps ensure Marylanders' access to clean water and air, it also sets an important precedent for other states to ban fracking. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump's budget cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency severely limit the agency's capacity to protect Americans' clean water resources — and may even negate the protections gained from this fracking ban.

Americans never voted to gut the Clean Water Act. The only way to combat this assault is to resist. That's why I'll be going to the March for Climate, Jobs and Justice on April 29 in Washington, D.C. to demand an economy and a government that works for working families and the environment. To change everything, we'll need everyone. I hope to see many Marylanders there.

Taylor Smith-Hams, Baltimore

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