Policy Update

Maryland Remains the First State with Natural Gas Reserves to Ban Fracking

Region

MidAtlantic

NCEL Point of Contact

Clara Summers
Climate and Energy Manager

Contact

In 2017, the Maryland legislature passed Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo’s House Bill 1325, making Maryland the first state with oil and natural gas reserves to legislatively ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fracking refers to the technique of pumping fluids under the surface of a rock in order to release oil or natural gas from a reservoir. The practice has raised environmental, safety, and health concerns due to the risk of groundwater contamination as well as explosions.

Given these risks to Maryland residents, in addition to the state’s existing commitments to clean energy, HB 1325 received bipartisan support and was signed by Republican Governor Larry Hogan last year. As more states look to address the risks associated with fracking, such as Colorado and its recent ballot initiative, Maryland HB 1325 can serve as a strong model.