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O'Malley wrong on fracking in Md.

The governor should have followed New York's example

Since Gov. Martin O'Malley formed an advisory commission more than three years ago to study whether Maryland should allow fracking for gas and oil in the western part of the state, the questions about public health, economics and the environment have been raised by politicians, health care and environmental advocates, the business community and local residents.

After all that the governor came to the conclusion that fracking could be done safely in Maryland ("O'Malley administration sets out path to fracking in Md.," Nov. 25).

It was a lot of work for a poor result. Only one question needed to be asked, which New York recently did when that state's health commissioner, Howard Zucker, asked himself: "Would I let my child play in a school field near [fracking]? The answer is no." New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo supported that judgment.

We applaud New York for coming to the only rational decision possible over whether hydraulic fracturing can be done safely. How Mr. O'Malley came to a different conclusion is a mystery. The science still says the risks are too great.

Mr. O'Malley said his decision would be based on science. It was not. He should ask himself "Would I let my child play in a school field near fracking?" If he did he would almost certainly reach the same conclusion as New York: "No!"

Andy Galli, Baltimore

The writer is Maryland program coordinator for Clean Water Action.

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