Ban fracking now

Given worsening climate change, why take a chance on fracking?

Our communities are divided by the fracking issue. However, there is a bigger issue: our climate crisis. Corporations are making the rich richer and in so doing are creating a warmer planet. The Maryland Department of the Environment is holding public meetings for citizens to voice our reactions to their recommendations for fracking regulations. Interesting that MDE sent out their "issue papers" the same day as the first hearing — so much for considered input ("Proposed rules to government fracking in Maryland draw criticism for environmentalists, energy industry," June 22). Now, the agency is putting us in a situation of negotiating for our own future, for clean water and air, healthy plants and a climate we can live in. We don't negotiate for our future, we demand it. We demand a healthy planet. We refuse to allow corporations to dictate to the state (or pay their way through campaign contributions and lobbying) and we insist that no regulations can prevent accidents, no regulations ensure adequate enforcement, no regulations ensure foolproof hydraulic fracturing.

While we pay for our coal, our gas and other fossil fuels, we also pay for the cleanup after more severe and more frequent natural disasters brought on by fossil fuel use that are not incorporated into the price of the fuels and end up being paid for by the citizens through taxes. Of course, you cannot pay for lives lost and irreparable damage to our ecosystem and our destroyed dreams. The corporations do not pay one red cent for this remediation. They, in effect, are subsidized at the expense of the taxpayer.

We should be building community to fight corporate greed and to demand a fair political voice. Thanks to Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations unlimited financial access to the political process. We should be banding together insisting on a fairer process and letting our politicians know that our right to a healthy and safe environment is not for sale. Ban fracking now! No regulations! Let's keep it in the ground, let's protect our world, ourselves, our children and our children's children. We reject your regulations.

Kenny Braitman, Frostburg

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