“Our job was to make people who didn’t want to ban fracking to do it anyway.”
In a landslide victory, health, environment, and climate won in Maryland this evening.
Maryland’s Senate voted 35-10 to ban fracking in the state.
Food & Water Watch has been integral in pushing for bans across the nation, including in Colorado where FWW along with other groups rallied outside of Senator Michael Bennett’s Office demanding environmental protections last week.
The Ban Fracking Now campaign kicked off in 2012 in Maryland and grew in numbers of supporters as education about the practice spread throughout the state. Educating legislators as well as the public was key to success according to FWW. In 2013 Baltimore passed a ban on fracking wastewater and the next year Montgomery County banned fracking. Delegate Shane Robinson and Senator Karen Montgomery introduced the first bill to ban fracking in Maryland that same year.
The next year in 2015, the legislature passed a fracking moratorium, and bans in Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Freindsville were passed. Resolutions against fracking were passed in Frederick County and in other areas of the state.
Maryland is the first state to pass a legislative ban on fracking in addition to having a Republican governor who has promised to sign the bill.
Food and Water Watch points to grassroots organizing as the key to success, We knocked on doors, held film screenings, volunteer meetings, and pushed elected officials to come out against fracking. The group collected 35,000 signatures and letters that were delivered to legislators and made 5,500 phone calls to Senate offices.
“This is a major win for clean air, safe drinking water and a livable climate. This victory is a true testament to the power of grassroots organizing and believing that even when the odds are stacked against us, we can do extraordinary things.”
[Left: 13 anti-fracking activists arrested in Annapolis, MD. Right: More than 1,000 people marched in Annapolis calling for a fracking ban]