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Supporting fracked gas is a problem

Defending fracked gas as something environmentally positive is an absurd proposition, especially in a state that has banned fracking and especially from Ben Grumbles, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment. But that’s what Mr. Grumbles did in his recent commentary, “Maryland is an environmental leader” (April 3).

Last November, at the same time that Mr. Grumbles was in Bonn, Germany for international climate talks, his agency was actively negotiating a deal with a Canadian gas company to expand fracked-gas pipelines and combustion across Maryland. The gas would come from Pennsylvania where drilling companies are daily harming water quality and human health. Worse, the fracking process is overwhelmingly harmful to the climate, as Mr. Grumbles and his Canadian corporate allies refuse to admit.

The latest scientific study from Pennsylvania shows climate-harming emissions from methane pollution are five times worse than previously believed from the fracking operations in the Keystone State. Global warming is the number one long-term threat to the Chesapeake Bay and to Maryland’s economy. Ben Grumbles and Gov. Larry Hogan, by embracing fracked-gas pipelines and combustion in the state, are making climate change worse. That’s a fact.

Mike Tidwell, Takoma Park

The writer is director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

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