Thanks to the efforts of Food & Water Watch and our state and local partners, the Prince George's County Council voted unanimously to ban fracking—the first local jurisdiction in Maryland to prohibit the practice since a two-year moratorium passed in 2015. If allowed, fracking would have posed a significant threat to their water, air, and environment of Prince George’s County, which sits on top of the Taylorsville Basin, estimated to contain more than 500 billion cubic feet of gas.
Food & Water Watch worked for almost a year urging local government to protect Prince George's County residents from fracking. We drafted a letter to the County Council urging a ban on fracking and recruited over 25 local organizations to sign it, facilitated coalition calls, created a GIS map of natural gas locations in Prince George's County, and recruited speakers and activists to present their concerns at three county council meetings. Food & Water Watch also provided legal advice and language in the process of drafting the fracking ban bill.
“It’s important for Prince George’s to protect its residents from fracking,” said Thomas Meyer, Senior Maryland Organizer for Food & Water Watch. “We hope the Maryland legislature follows suit and ban fracking across the state.”
This victory wouldn’t have been possible without our partners at Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Prince George’s Sierra Club, Greater Baden Aquasco Citizens Association, and others. This is an important win not only for local residents, but also the entire state. Though Maryland passed a two-year statewide moratorium on fracking, it expires in October 2017. Now that Prince George's County has stepped up and shown leadership in the fight against fracking, the rest of the state should take notice, and ban the practice for good.