GreenLaurel, Health and Fitness, Money & Power

Fracking’s Good Samaritans

1 Written by: | Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 1:00pm

Friends of the Harmed volunteers Dana Dolney, Kyle Pattinson, Briget Shields and Jason Bell.

Friends of the Harmed volunteers Dana Dolney, Jason Bell, Briget Shields and Kyle Pattison. Not pictured: Anna Hansen.

When it comes to fracking, Maryland is unique. Along with New York and a few countries, no fracking wells have been drilled in western Maryland. Though our state’s natural gas lies west below Garrett and Alleghany counties, deciding to frack or not will most likely be decided in our General Assembly. All Marylanders will play a role in choosing whether to frack or not.

There’s time to get up-to-speed on fracking’s realities since Maryland’ General Assembly legislated a fracking moratorium until October 1, 2017.  Fracking’s a fairly complicated topic. Here at Baltimore Fishbowl we plan to publish stories that break fracking down into bite-sized chunks, and lay out key issues that don’t often pop up in the media.

Since our sister states, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are roughly one decade into fracking, we’re starting at the end. What’s happened over time to homeowners living near fracking wells? What’s happened when something went wrong? Who helped, and were any damages fixed? It’s estimated that 15 million Americans live near our country’s 100,000 fracking wells.

Read More →

GreenLaurel, Health and Fitness, Money & Power

Fracking’s Air Pollution is Migrating into Baltimore

2 Written by: | Thursday, May 07, 2015 11:33am

Neighboring state’s hydraulic fracturing air pollution is floating into Baltimore’s air.

The gift that Baltimore doesn’t need: Marcellus Shale’s fracking air pollution. We don’t even frack in Maryland, but University of Maryland scientists recently discovered that doesn’t matter. Published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, their research reveals that toxic air pollution from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia’s 10,000+ fracking wells floats right over to, you guessed it, Baltimore. This isn’t good, people.

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Featured, GreenLaurel, Money & Power

Next stop for Oil Bomb Trains: Baltimore?

8 Written by: | Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 11:00am

How would Baltimore's again train tunnel handle an oil train fire similar to this Lynchburg, VA explosion?

How would Baltimore’s Inner Harbor-area handle an oil train fire similar to this Lynchburg, VA explosion?

If Targa Resources has its way, “oil bomb” trains will rumble through Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on their way to the company’s proposed Curtis Bay oil storage facility.  The same type of oil trains that exploded in West Virginia this week may already be chugging through Baltimore, but no one knows for sure if that’s true or not. Let’s take a look at how our country’s fracking boom may put thousands of Maryland homes squarely in a potential oil train blast zone and also learn who’s trying to protect Maryland’s citizens.

Read More →

Featured, GreenLaurel, Health and Fitness, Money & Power

Fracking’s Air Pollution: Disgusting, Toxic and Legal

10 Written by: | Thursday, Dec 18, 2014 11:03am

This massive fracking well is ~15 acres and is located at the top of a flattened mountain in Doddridge County, W.V. Trucks get to well by driving up a narrow 2 mile country road lined with about 40 homes.

“What’s that smell?”

I asked that question when I caught a whiff of metallic gas while standing in Lyndia’s front yard.  Her house is four hours west of Baltimore in West Union, a town in Doddridge County, West Virginia. Ten active fracking wells sit within one mile of her home.

Doddridge County is a hot spot in our country’s fracking boom. I visited the fracking fields there last June to learn first-hand what it’s like to be a “fracking neighbor.” I define fracking neighbor as someone who lives near a natural gas hydrofracturing, a.k.a. fracking, well. According to the Wall Street Journal, 15.3 million people live within one mile of a fracking well. In only nine years, five percent of Americans are now fracking neighbors, and that’s because 100,000 fracking wells have been drilled across 31 states. 

Read More →

Money & Power

O’Malley to Allow Fracking in Maryland

2 Written by: | Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 5:11pm

hydrofrackingBefore he departs office in January, Martin O’Malley signaled that one of his final acts as governor will be to green-light fracking in Maryland. Read More →

The Week in Review

Week in Review: Something in the Air

0 Written by: | Friday, Nov 14, 2014 5:55pm

Photo via @abpanphoto

Photo via @abpanphoto

This week, cheerleaders once again made the headlines, and strange Baltimore discoveries were right under our nose. It’s the Week in Review for Nov. 7-14: Read More →

GreenLaurel, Health and Fitness, Lifeline, Money & Power

Dominion’s Cove Point: Poised to Open the Door to Fracking in Maryland

9 Written by: | Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 11:02am

Maryland walks the fracking plank.

Soon, a shipping tanker will dock at Dominion’s Cove Point natural gas facility pier in Lusby, MD and bring U.S. fracked gas to Asia. So much for energy independence.

As Marylanders have been pushing for wind energy, installing compact fluorescent lightbulbs and shelling out storm water and ‘flush’ fees to clean the Chesapeake Bay, our federal government approved a massive energy project here in Maryland that couldn’t be farther from “eco-friendly.” Read More →

Money & Power

Tech Transfer: Closing the Gap Between Innovation and Commercialization in Maryland

0 Written by: | Friday, Mar 08, 2013 8:30am

Tech transfer has always been one of those holy grails: you hear of success stories from academic institutions in Boston, Texas, Silicon Valley, but rarely hear the names of universities closer to home. With predictable frequency, some study or another reminds us of the drop off in Maryland between university innovation (where we score off the charts) and commercialization (where we don’t even make the playoffs). Read More →

Money & Power

O’Malley’s Budget Includes $1.5M to Study Fracking

0 Written by: | Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 8:39am


If I could put on my paranoid-conspiracy-theorist helmet for moment (it helps me shut out the government’s hypnotizing radio waves), I have to admit I’m suspicious of the $1.5 million hydraulic fracturing study that Gov. Martin O’Malley is budgeting for. O’Malley stated that the study is needed to establish a “responsible environmental standard” for fracking in Maryland — which seems to assume beforehand that the study will not determine fracking to be unacceptable in all cases, that it will merely advise on how to frack. Read More →


A Play About Immortal Jellyfish, Underground Creeks, and… Fracking?

0 Written by: | Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:56am

As far as artistic subjects go, fracking — the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock — hasn’t yet had its Upton Sinclair moment. But maybe that’s just because no one’s used puppets and accordions to tell the story — until now, at least.

This week is your only chance to see Below and Beyond, a new offering from Philadelphia-based Ramshackle Enterprises, directed by occasional Baltimorean Donna Sellinger. Below and Beyond makes inventive use of puppets, pulleys, movements, maps, and a one-man accordion band to “explore the complications of what lies beneath our feet,” according to its director and creator. The play sold out its run of shows in Philadelphia, receiving plenty of positive feedback (“[Co-creators Beth] Nixon and [Sarah] Lowry manage a bit of scaffolding, scores of puppets and props and their own boundless energies to create a sprawling mythic journey. At turns surprising, hilarious, and earnest the piece is one that makes you stop and wonder about the workings of the city around (and below) you,” said Adrienne Mackey, the artistic director of Swim Pony Performing Arts.)

Now its cast and creators are taking it on the road, stopping in Baltimore for one night only (Saturday, May 5, 8:00 p.m.) at the Whole Gallery, with local openers Foot Talk and City Paper favorites the Annex Theatre. I’ve heard there will be an invasion of urban water buffalo. Highly recommended.

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