Maryland Closer to a 2-Year Fracking Ban, Will Gov have Guts?

We had high hopes that Maryland might begin shale drilling before New York, after years of making fun of Maryland as being the only state more dysfunctional that New York. Maryland’s outgoing governor, Martin O’Malley, released new regulations that would allow fracking to begin (see Fracking in Maryland (!) in 2015? Quite Possibly). We should have known O’Malley, after attempting to slow down fracking for four long years, had ulterior motives. He wants to run for president. Plus he knows his old cronies in the People’s Republic of Maryland Legislature won’t let fracking happen anyway–so there was no downside in releasing new regulations to allow it. After a glimmer of hope, it seems we’re now back to more delays in fracking. Last Friday the Maryland Assembly voted to block fracking for another two years, mirroring a bill passed by the Senate last week (see Maryland Republican Senator Votes to Delay Fracking (Say What?)). Both the House and Senate votes are “veto proof”–so says the Baltimore Sun. Will Maryland’s new Republican governor, Larry Hogan, cave and sign the bill under some pretense that fracking will get here sooner or later in order to avoid an early defeat? Or will he show integrity and stamp a big VETO across this nonsensical tomfoolery?…

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