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Protesters March Through Annapolis to Oppose Fracking

A group of more than a hundred protesters gathered near the steps of the Maryland State House Wednesday to decry fracking in Maryland.

(Photo credit: Youtube.com)
(Photo credit: Youtube.com)
A group of more than a hundred protesters gathered near the steps of the Maryland State House Wednesday to decry fracking in Maryland.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, is an industrial method used to extract gas from rock deep beneath the earth.

Protest groups included the Sierra Club, Chesapeake Earth First and dozens of area residents opposed to fracking in Maryland came out Wednesday to voice their opposition at the start of the assembly.

A video of the protest was uploaded to YouTube Thursday by Wilma Lossed.
Ruth A January 10, 2014 at 06:39 AM
HoCo Climate Change - www.hococlimatechange.org - Howard County sent at least 7 cars to Annapolis with over 20 people for this Fracking Moratorium- No Cove Point rally.
Richard January 10, 2014 at 06:56 AM
US emissions are at a 20 year low, thanks in part to this new fuel source. Fracking as they call it, is helping slow the green house gasses.
Darla Tagrin January 10, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Richard - The problem with fracking is that it often pollutes aquifers. We can get along better without oil than we can without drinking and agricultural water. Once a large aquifer is polluted, the water is unusable.
Lynn January 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Fracking isn't Free, people! The Fracking process uses our most precious and important resource WATER! The chemicals added to it become a toxic waste that we STILL haven't figured out how to dispose of. I wonder what all the "Injection Well" permits are for in WV. It can't ALL be storm water runoff. Fracking makes less sense than growing corn for methanol....food for fuel. Fracking is WATER for OIL!
James T. Kirk January 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM
I cant believe the PATCH advertises for fracking. When your well water burns, something is wrong.
Richard January 10, 2014 at 01:22 PM
It is possible that an aquifer can be contaminated from this process as aquifers can also be contaminated by many other sources, but it is unlikely and there has yet to be a proven case as such. The wells we obtain our drinking water from are typically less than 100 feet deep, while the gas wells discussed here are in the 1,000s of feet and sometimes in the 10,000s of feet. The water at this depth is not potable as it is very briny ( saltier than sea water) and has many other components in it that would make it undesirable to drink. Even toxic in many cases. The water at this depth is also isolated from our potable groundwater, because there are impermeable rock formations that lie in between. As for reported contamination including water that burns, it is usually caused by some other situation such as the water well driller, drilling into something like a coal bed or peat bog. Many times our groundwater is contaminated by dumping chemicals on the ground, leaking tanks, and even animal waste from farms. This is just a few sources, I could list many more, but the PATCH limits what we can write.
James T. Kirk January 10, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Fracking causes the gas to rise. It will take the path of least resistance, such as natural frcctures in bedrock. I disagree with you. It has been documented in PA.
Ruth A January 10, 2014 at 02:23 PM
Richard The rally was to oppose COVE POINT - which is an EXPORT facility for natural gas. Why is Dominion, a Viriginia firm, wanting to use energy to liquify the fracked gas and ship to Japan and India (where they already have contracts ). With the dirty energy used to compress, pipe, liquify, ship, de-liquify and again pipe the gas in Asia - there would be less gobal warming pollution if the countries just burned coal. AND THE PRICE OF NATURAL GAS WILL GO UP HERE. Each year they want to ship out of Maryland FOUR TIMES as much natural gas as Marylanders use in a year. Our cost will skyrocket. The whole fracked gas lifecycle - fracking, flaring methane, methane emissions in the piping of natural gas etc. emits as much global warming gas pollution as coal. It is NOT better. Renewable energy IS BETTER. How fast can we build those offshore wind trubines authorized last year and increase solar?
Sabrina Fu January 10, 2014 at 02:58 PM
We need to separate a number of issues here: fracking, natural gas, and exporting liquefied natural gas to Asia. Here are some points that may help de-tangle these three topics: (1) Natural gas does provide twice the energy for each molecule of CO2 emitted compared to coal, so it is typically thought of as a good transition fossil fuel, and hence often “recommended”. (2) Fracking to obtain natural gas can be performed with a wide range of environmental issues. I have heard that some operations are much cleaner than others. I think the question we have to ask is how clean/dirty are we willing to live with? Clearly, fracking will have some environmental impact, as any energy intensive drilling into the earth will. (3) The proposed 3.8 billion dollars liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point will not only have an environmental impact at Cove Point, but will be an very carbon intensive way of using fracked gas since it takes energy to pipe, liquidity, ship to halfway around the world, de-liquidly, and then pipe to end use. If you calculate all the energy plus methane loss through this process, you might as well have Asia using coal. The protest was about the building of the liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point, which would encourage fracking in Maryland.
LizF January 10, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Richard - No proven cases of water contamination?? Really?? http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/some-states-confirm-water-pollution-from-drilling/4328859/ If we export LNG, fracking and all the pipelines, compressor stations will come to Maryland along with all the problems associated with this dirty energy. You can kiss reduced US emissions goodbye. Over 22 million additional tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases would be released if Cove Point moves forward as proposed – an amount equal to all of the emissions of Marylandʼs seven coal-fired power plants combined.
Gina Angiola January 10, 2014 at 03:34 PM
We need to be clear about the climate effects of natural gas. Yes, it produces half as much CO2 as coal would when burned, but it produces large amounts of fugitive methane....and methane is over 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide when looked at over a 20 year time period. Natural gas is as bad or WORSE for climate than other fossil fuels. Of course, in truth, we need to leave 80% of all fossil fuels in the ground if we hope to have a livable climate...THAT is the bottom line.
Rose M January 10, 2014 at 09:27 PM
It seems that the fossil fuel industry is rushing in to open new fracking sites with little regard for potential irreversible environmental damage. I was shocked to learn that there are shale deposits that could be fracked not only in Western MD but in many MD counties as far east as Charles county.
James T. Kirk January 11, 2014 at 12:01 AM
These big companies do buisness like bullies and snake oil salesmen. In the end, the one with the most money wins. ie: The land grab by the ski industry in western MD. & PA. They simply had thier survey team go in and claimed land from people who did not have enough money to defend thier land. Or apeall again and again.
Richard January 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM
In response to all your comments: First of all the article itself (not the video) and the first comments were not talking about Cove Pt. but fracking in general. Cove Pt. might be a bad choice, but I'm not responding to that topic. As for the article that LizF had a link to it was only written six days ago and says that there is finally some proof. But read the whole article, yes there is finally some conclusion that the oil and gas industry in general, not just the "fracking" has contaminated some wells. The article also mentions that a study found that 40% of all water wells fail some Federal standard. What happens here is people have poor water quality but never get it tested until a new player shows up and then blames them. As I said earlier, much of the "burning water" is cause by coal seams and such. Not all but most. Most importantly, the article calls for transparency, YES, this is truly important and needs to happen on both sides. The biggest argument against fracking as mentioned is the ground water. You think coal is better? Go visit West Virgina and look at all the contaminated wells and steams. You see a lot of orange streams. That's not natural. About the only environmental thing going for coal is the flattening of the mountain tops to put up wind turbines. I agree, sustainable renewable energy is something we would all like and strive for and hopefully it will happen in our life time. But solar and wind also have their drawbacks, including environmental ones. You may have heard recently, that the wind turbine owners are getting a waiver for the government for killing eagles. This is just one of the draw backs of this form of power. I'm all for wind turbines, but no energy source is guilt free.
Richard January 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM
An other point made is that the handling of the gas diminishes points against coal in that green house gas are emitted in compressing the gas and shipping it abroad. Once the well is drilled, the gas flows freely. Yes, energy is spent piping it to the ship terminal,compressing it, and sipping it abroad. Coal, does not flow freely, so it has to be dug up with huge diesel power mining equipment, loaded into trains, then on to ships and sent to China. This is already happening while Cove Pt. is still in debate.

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