Thursday, March 16, 2017

Maryland House approves fracking ban by large margin

Activists rally outside Maryland’s State House for a fracking ban on March 2. (Brian Witte/AP)
Josh Hicks reports in The Washington Post:

Maryland’s House of Delegates on Friday passed legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state, but a major hurdle remains in the Senate, where a key lawmaker has resisted efforts to permanently prohibit the controversial gas-extraction method.
The bill passed the Democratic-majority House 97 to 40, with eight Republicans supporting it.
Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), who chairs the Senate committee in charge of reviewing the proposal, has said she sees little sense in trying to move the measure to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk unless both legislative chambers can approve it with veto-proof majorities, the Baltimore Sun reported Friday.
Hogan has said he supports hydraulic fracturing as long as the state implements strict safeguards for the practice, commonly known as fracking.
The 141-member House needs 85 votes to override a veto from the governor, while the 47-member Senate needs 29 votes for such action. Anti-fracking advocates say they are a few votes short of that number in the Senate.
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