Drilling for natural gas will soon be coming to Western Maryland, splitting camps into those who think it is no different than other industries and others with environmental concerns. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video)
As a union member who would like to see those without jobs get them soon, I would like to state that bringing hydraulic fracturing for natural gas to Maryland is not the way to do this. Why? Because hydraulic fracturing will not bring a windfall jobs to Maryland and it threatens the health of all workers in the fracking process through exposure to silica dust and other hazards, not to mention the poisoning of drinking water, the respiratory problems it causes in those who live near fracking wells, the birth defects it causes in babies of pregnant women who live near fracking wells and the competition for water it creates between farmers and the hydraulic fracturing companies ("Fracking ban bill introduced in Maryland Senate," Feb. 3).
This is why I have joined the many other Maryland residents in both the western and eastern parts of the state who are actively involved in getting a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing passed this legislative session in Annapolis via Senate Bill 740 sponsored by Sen. Bobby Zirkin. Due to hydraulic fracturing's empty promise of being a boon for jobs and its clear threat to human health, I urge all my fellow union members across the state to join me in contacting their state senators and delegates and telling them to vote for SB740. Then we can work on creating safe and plentiful jobs that will not poison our water and that will give Maryland workers good, long-term employment that does not pose a threat to their or the general public's health.
This is the way to stand strong with, and look out for, our union brothers and sisters, not by bringing dangerous fracking to the state.