Senate committee kills 'fracking' moratorium

March 08, 2013|By Michael Dresser | The Baltimore Sun

A bill that would have imposed a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas in Maryland was defeated Wednesday night in a Senate committee.

The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee voted 6-5 to reject the bill, which would have barred "fracking" in the state until the state Department of the Environment completes a study of the practice's environmental impact and issues appropriate rules.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Robert A. Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat. Gov. Martin O'Malley has put fracking on hold in Maryland while a study is done, but the bill's supporters said the measure would provide much stronger protections.

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