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Fracking ban passes General Assembly

Rachel Baye

“Ta da!”

Senate President Mike Miller opened debate Monday on a bill banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, with gusto.

The Senate’s debate and subsequent approval of the ban came just over a week after Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that he supports banning the controversial drilling practice.

Before Hogan announced his support, Miller and other legislative leaders assumed the governor would veto a bill banning the controversial drilling process. It wasn’t clear that the bill would get a vote on the Senate floor.

But on Monday night, it passed easily. Only Sen. George Edwards, whose western Maryland district sits on Marcellus Shale, voiced objections.

“The fat lady has sung. The game is over,” he said after the vote. “As far as I’m concerned, after tonight when this vote’s taken, which I know how it’s going, the discussion of the issue is over.”

Edwards was one of 10 Republicans who voted against the bill.

The measure has already passed the House. Now it goes to Hogan’s desk, where the governor has said he will sign it.

The state’s two-year fracking moratorium was set to expire Oct. 1 if the legislature hadn’t done anything to prevent it.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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