As the debate about fracking heats up in Annapolis, faith leaders representing thousands of worship houses across the state have thrown their support behind a proposal to permanently ban the drilling practice.
Top Stories: War Memorial Lighting Fix Planned, A Home with Southern Charm in North Roland Park, Documentary About Baltimore Step Team Praised at Sundance
Our most popular story this week was Ed Gunts’ coverage of a planned restoration project for Baltimore’s 92-year-old War Memorial Building at 101 N. Gay Street. Ed Gunts reported in his Urban Landscape column that the historic building is set to receive a simple makeover when the city removes the soundproofing covering the interior glass windows. Once that’s finished, natural light can flood into Memorial Hall and let its design truly shine.
Here were our other most-read stories from Saturday, Jan. 21 through today: Read More →
Wednesday Morning Headlines: Fracking Looms Before General Assembly; Norovirus Circling Baltimore Area; and More
Inside Baltimore Police training: A ‘shoot don’t shoot’ scenario – Fox Baltimore
Cross Street Market developer grilled over merchants’ treatment – Baltimore Brew
When your home’s heater turned on this chilly morning, it was most likely powered by natural gas that bubbled up from underground through fracking. After ten years and 137,000 wells drilled in the U.S., by May 2017, our state will be the last in the union to decide whether to frack. Fracking is important to understand because our country’s fossil fuel energy strategy rests on fracking.
Though we live three hours from Western Maryland’s potential fracking fields, you have a voice in whether our state fracks or not. During the 2017 Maryland General Assembly, your state senator and three delegates will cast your vote to either ban fracking permanently, or to allow permits in October 2017.
Over the next few months, we’ll bring you up-to-speed with short articles that will zero-in on one fracking topic to help you make an informed decision about fracking.
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Baltimoreans can rest assured for at least another year that there won’t be any giant drills coming into town in search of natural gas.
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.
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.
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.
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