Skip Navigation

PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Maryland Officials’ Letter to Ban Fracking

January 12, 2017

“A ban on fracking in Maryland would be based on scary stories, not on science.” - Isaac Orr

added image

Sixty Maryland elected officials – state delegates and senators as well as city and county council members – sent an open letter today to the General Assembly urging legislation that would ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” across the state.

The following statements from environment and energy policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000.

“The Maryland legislators pushing this bill are driven by blind commitment to climate alarmism. Their claim that fracking is harmful not only has no basis in fact, it flies in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. I would ask them to produce actual evidence, not unsupportable anecdotes claiming it is ‘abundantly clear fracking endangers public health.’ All credible research – including studies produced by the U.S. EPA, no friend of the fossil fuel industry – find no evidence supporting that claim. Carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutant levels have fallen as the country has increased its use of natural gas.

“These legislators would deny their state governments the tax revenue and leasing fees resulting from fracking, and their citizens the royalties, jobs, and economic growth that occurs where fracking takes place. They need to pull their heads out of the sand.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

“Elected officials in Maryland are pushing for a misguided ban on hydraulic fracturing based on baseless accusations that fracking is an imminent risk to public health. New York’s fracking ban was based on discredited health studies, and the researchers from Johns Hopkins University admitted their study does not prove a direct link between fracking and higher incidences of asthma.

“As far as devastating effects on communities near fracking are concerned, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago, Princeton, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found fracking provides annual net benefits of $1,300 to $1,900 in communities where fracking takes place. Fracking communities see a 7 percent increase in average income, a 10 percent increase in employment, and a 6 percent increase in housing prices.

“A ban on fracking in Maryland would be based on scary stories, not on science.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute

“Drilling is currently being conducted across the country in a safe and responsible manner. Federal, state, and local governments have tested thousands of fracking sites for hydraulic pollution of groundwater resources, as well as for air quality. Simply put, there is no scientific justification for banning hydraulic fracturing or over-regulating it out of existence. Regulation should be based only on the best available scientific literature, and the overwhelming evidence shows that fracking is not a public health threat. Often, and unfortunately so, fracking opponents base their campaigns on misinformation, fear, and superstition, as is the case here. The Maryland General Assembly should simply ignore this letter.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

Article Tags
Energy Environment
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Isaac Orr is a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment on mining and energy issues and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @thefrackingguy
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @HeartlandGR