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The future of fracking: Moratorium in Maryland expires this October

Fracking can produce clean energy and good jobs, or it can produce dirty fuel and health problems, depending on who one asks.

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Fracking can produce clean energy and good jobs, or it can produce dirty fuel and health problems, depending on who one asks.

The two sides of the debate are talking as a moratorium on fracking is about to end, and a permanent ban could begin.

Hydraulic fracturing drills into the ground and uses chemicals on the rock below, to produce natural gas.

Delegate Wendell Bietzel of Allegany and Garrett Counties, says fracking can produce good jobs. Land owners who lease their property to fracking companies can benefit, too.

State Senator Bobby Zirkin says fracking is dangerous to the health of those who live near fracking sites. To allow it in Maryland would be “borderline immoral.”

Zirkin has filed a bill banning fracking in the General Assembly. Along with a similar bill in the House of Delegates, almost half of the General Assembly is sponsoring a fracking ban.

Drew Cobbs, of the Maryland Petroleum Council, cites a state report on fracking that says it can be done safely. He says the regulations placed on fracking by Governor Larry Hogan, ”were probably the toughest regulations in the country.”

Morgan Folger of Environment Maryland wants fracking banned. She says the state should move away from coal, oil, and natural gas produced by fracking.

“The clean energy revolution is here and we just don’t need to go backwards to dirty fossil fuels like fracking,” Folger says.

The moratorium on fracking in Maryland expires in October.

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