Your recent editorial argued that "the longer we wait before embracing fracking, the better informed we will be" ("Fracking still worrisome," Oct. 7).

Why should Maryland continue to delay when the science overwhelmingly shows that hydraulic fracturing is safe?

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The Maryland departments of the environment and natural resources recently released a report that found the risk of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing is very low and is manageable under Maryland's regulatory scheme. Your editorial acknowledges the report and its findings yet still calls for more unnecessary delay.

The report is only the latest of many studies that have found shale development has manageable risks. The Obama administration has also touted the safety of the process. As EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said, there's nothing inherently dangerous in fracking that sound engineering practices can't successfully address.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than half a century, and it has brought significant economic benefits to states that have embraced it. A study from Towson University found that shale development could create nearly 1,000 new jobs and $1.7 million in new tax revenues for Allegany County while Garrett County could see 2,743 new jobs and $4.4 million in new revenues.

There's no reason to delay a well-established, safe practice that will bring an infusion of job opportunities and new investment to the state.

Katie Brown, Washington

The writer works for Energy in Depth, a program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

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