The state of Maryland is all set to ban fracking.
The Senate vote 35-10 sends the fracking ban to Gov. Larry Hogan for a promised signature, making Maryland one of the few states with known drill-able reserves to ban the practice.
The western part of the state sits atop of the Marcellus Shale Formation, where nearby states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia continue to frack.
Western Maryland's delegates and state senator are dissatisfied with the ban, arguing that the practice will bring good paying jobs to one of the state's poorest areas. It would also increase property value for land owners.
“In our area we desperately need something that provides year-round good-paying jobs,” says state delegate Wendell Beitzel.
Yet where there's an opportunity there's always a cost, and to some the environmental and public health cost is not worth the risk. Recent studies from Johns Hopkins University are showing that fracking operations pose increased risk of premature birth, asthma, and migraines to their surrounding communities.
Others speculate that abnormal seismic activity is also a result of fracking.
When confronted with the issue, delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo says he understands the economic impact the ban has on the state's western community, but he says that the benefits of fracking would only be temporary.
“Let’s build a permanent economy out there — a green, clean, not a dirty economy.” Fraser-Hidalgo said.
According to a recent poll, Marylanders agree with Fraser-Hidalgo. The poll shows that Marylanders oppose fracking 2 to 1.