Chesapeake PSR

Lessons learned from Maryland fracking ban

Fracking in Maryland, Climate Change and EnergyTimothy WhitehouseComment

Maryland's imminent fracking ban represents a seismic shift in the politics around fracking. Gone are the days when oil and gas executives could stand in a conference center and make a toast to fracking, using clear, clean frac fluids as a way to dismiss and belittle the health concerns of those harmed by fracking.  

How did this victory come about?

In 2015, a number of key groups – including Chesapeake PSR – united to form the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition. The coalition quickly grew to over 190 organizations representing a wide array of environmental, health, business, religious and labor groups.

Many of you spent countless hours supporting the work of this coalition and contacting your elected representatives to voice your concerns about fracking. 

Chesapeake PSR took a lead role in explaining and publicizing scientific studies on the health effects of fracking, and worked hard to counter industry arguments that fracking was safe and that burning methane produced clean energy. We also worked hard to build the case against the argument that regulations could protect the health and well-being of Maryland residents.

Over 10,000 people signed a petition organized by Chesapeake PSR to bring transparency to the oil and gas industry and hundreds of health professionals signed a petition in support of a fracking ban. 

“The outcry against fracking in Maryland was too much for state elected leaders to ignore,” said Gina Angiola, MD, a member of the board of directors of Chesapeake PSR and its representative on the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition. 

Food and Water Watch (FWW), a founding member and leader in the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition, identified five key pieces to the winning strategy: 

  • Stick to your guns

  • Focus on building political power

  • Play to win

  • Grow the movement at the local level

  • Organize a statewide coalition

To learn more about fracking and health and the next steps in the climate movement, please watch Dr. Angiola's interview on MPT here.

The success of the fracking ban is a great model for moving forward on all our efforts in Maryland.

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