On Tap for MD General Assembly: Fracking Ban, Clean Energy and Pollution Trading

On Tap for MD General Assembly: Fracking Ban, Clean Energy and Pollution Trading
  1. On Tap for MD General Assembly: Fracking Ban, Clean Energy and Pollution Trading
    The Maryland General Assembly’s annual sessionopens today in Annapolis. By far the most important environmental issue that lawmakers will be debating over the next three months is a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Fracking and horizontal drilling techniques have transformed rural parts of neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia into oil and gas industrial zones over the last decade. But Western Maryland, which has the same gas-rich shale rock formations, has not y…
    Delaware (DE)

The Maryland General Assembly’s annual session opens today in Annapolis.  By far the most important environmental issue that lawmakers will be debating over the next three months is a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Fracking and horizontal drilling techniques have transformed rural parts of neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia into oil and gas industrial zones over the last decade.  But Western Maryland, which has the same gas-rich shale rock formations, has not yet experienced any fracking.

Lawmakers in 2015 passed a two-year moratorium on the high-pressure injection of water and chemicals into shale formations to release natural gas. But that moratorium on fracking will run out in October, and then the drilling could start here in Maryland if state legislators fail to act this winter. Listen Listening... /

State Delegate Kumar Barve, a Democrat from Montgomery County, is chair of the house Environment and Transportation Committee.  He said that many lawmakers may be persuaded to support a ban by new scientific studies by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that document higher rates of asthma attacks and premature births among Pennsylvania residents who live near fracking sites.

“I think it’s true to say that there’s more support in the House than in the Senate.  But I think there is a healthy amount of support in both chambers,” Barve said. “And I think that once everybody looks at the facts that we have accumulated over the last two years I think people are going to realize that we have to take action.  We can’t just do nothing.”

New York imposed a permanent ban on fracking in 2015. In Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have passed local bans in recent years, as have the communities of Friendsville and Mountain Lake Park in Western Maryland. 

Another politically charged vote that will come very early in the Maryland General Assembly session this winter will be a move by Democrats to override Governor Larry Hogan’s May 27 veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016. The bill would have required power companies to buy more electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar, a total of 25 percent by 2020, up from the current requirement of 20 percent by 2022.

“Governor Hogan vetoed that,” said Karla Raettig, executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “But we are confident that we have the votes to override that veto. So that will be the very Number One hottest topic right off the bat.”

Hogan opposes the legislation, because it could potentially mean electricity rate increases for consumers.  He is proposing an alternative package of green projects, including more tax credits for electric vehicles and $3 million to help train workers in the solar, wind and hydroelectric industries.

The governor is also promoting what he calls his “Clean Water Commerce Act.” The bill w…

  1. Will 2017 Be Realty Income Corporation's Best Year Yet?

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 19:42 wgmd.com
    Retail REIT Realty Income (NYSE: O) gave investors several reasons to smile in 2016. Just to name a few, the stock’s dividend grew by about 6% throughout the year, the company acquired twice as many properties as it expected, and at record-low costs of capital. Realty Income’s 8.6% total return in 2016 was fairly strong.…
  2. Joe Biden takes Amtrak home after inauguration

    Delawareonline.com - Wilmington -
    01.20 / 19:28 delawareonline.com
    A jovial, recently dethroned Vice President Joe Biden arrived at an eerily quiet train platform Friday to take his beloved Amtrak from Washington’s Union Station back home to W…
  3. Carmelo Anthony says if Knicks want him out, he'd 'have to consider it'

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 18:28 wgmd.com
    Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver during the 2011 season because he wanted to live and play in New York City. Even during the roughest of seasons with the Knicks, he’s never once mentioned the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause to play somewhere else — until now. New York is in the…
  4. Guy Martin to return to Isle of Man TT

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 18:28 wgmd.com
    After a year away from the event, 35-year-old Guy Martin will return to competition this June at the 2017 Isle of Man TT. Considered one of the best current road racers without a TT win, Martin will partner 23-time TT winner John McGuinness at Honda Racing on the all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 superbike. The…
  5. Defiant Orlando cop-killing suspect interrupts judge in court

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 17:15 wgmd.com
    A day after an expletive-laced court appearance on charges he killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, a fugitive was more subdued but still interrupted and refused to answer questions when he went before a judge Friday on five new charges filed against him in the death of Orlando police officer. ACCUSED COP-KILLER CURSES OUT JUDGE, SAYS HE’LL…
  6. All 55 cars for the Rolex 24 at Daytona

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 17:14 wgmd.com
    — Twelve new-for-2017 Prototypes will take part, alongside five Prototype Challenge, 11 GT Le Mans and 27 GT Daytona entries. — The only notable change on the driver front in the P class with Brendon Hartley listed in both ESM Nissans, after having originally been announced for the No. 22 entry only. — The PC class, now in its final…
  7. Delawareans endure cold, long lines for Trump inaugural

    Delawareonline.com - Wilmington -
    01.20 / 17:01 delawareonline.com
    Despite the hassles of the mammoth event, the visitors are excited to witness…
  8. Drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzman arrives in New York to face charges

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 16:37 wgmd.com
    NEW YORK –  Infamous Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who twice escaped from maximum-security prisons in his country, was extradited at the request of the United States to face drug trafficking and other charges and arrived in New York late Thursday. TIMING OF EXTRADITION SEEN AS POLITICAL A plane carrying Guzman landed at…
  9. Trump aides meeting with Mexican foreign, economy ministers next week

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 15:24 wgmd.com
    President-Elect Donald Trump’s top aides and senior Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto’s closest aide and confidant, will meet next week in Washington D.C., the Mexican government said in a statement. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will head talks next Wednesday and Thursday with Trump’s chief-of-staff Reince Priebus and…
  10. Live: Scenes from Trump-Pence Inauguration Day

    Thestarpress.com - Delaware
    01.20 / 14:01 thestarpress.com
    IndyStar will keep you posted on everything going on with Donald Trump's inauguration — and Vice President-elect Mike Pence's new role in Washington, too — in this live blog.…
  11. Governor Carney Accepts Policy Report from Transition Committee

    News.delaware.gov - Delaware (DE)
    01.20 / 13:35 news.delaware.gov
    Governor John Carney received a final report from the Transition Committee that includes recommended action steps in order to achieve policy objectives set forth by the…
  12. Inauguration Day weather forecast: gray and wet

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 12:57 wgmd.com
    The thousands of people heading to Washington to see Donald Trump take his oath as the country’s 45th president might consider taking a rain jacket or poncho. Meteorologists are forecasting that Washington, D.C. will be gray and damp on Inauguration Day. Rain is moving and is expected to reach the capital shortly before noon –…
  13. ISIS Destroys Ancient Theater, Tetrapylon In Palmyra, Syria Says

    Delawarepublic.org - Dover
    01.20 / 12:43 delawarepublic.org
    Two famous ancient structures in the city of Palmyra have been destroyed by ISIS forces, Syria's antiquities chief says. The Tetrapylon and the facade of the city's Roman theater have both been almost completely demolished, the official says, according to NPR's Alison Meuse. "Activist Khaled al-Homsi, who is from Palmyra, shared satellite imagery to Twitter, which appears to confirm the scale of the damage," Alison reports. "The face of the Roman theater is a pile of rubble and only four…
  14. Were Egyptian 'pot burials' a symbol of rebirth?

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 12:22 wgmd.com
    Ancient Egyptians who buried their deceased kin in pots may have chosen the burial vessels as symbols of the womb and rebirth, scientists argue in a new paper. Pot burials in ancient Egypt have long been considered the domain of the very poor. In a paper published in the journal Antiquity, however, archaeologists Ronika Power…
  15. Mud cracks on Mars suggest a watery ancient past

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 12:22 wgmd.com
    NASA’s Curiosity rover has photographed shallow crevices on Mars that may have formed from ancient mud cracks, yet more evidence that the planet had a watery past. The photos, taken Dec. 20 and unveiled Tuesday (Jan. 17), show a site called “Old Soaker” on Mars’ lower Mount Sharp. Scientists think the cracked layer likely formed…
  16. Miami Marlins Turn Ballpark into a Racetrack

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 12:21 wgmd.com
    Every team looks for a way to utilize their ballpark during the MLB offseason. The Miami Marlins have done just that in a truly novel way, as they turned Marlins Park into a racetrack. Fans of the Miami Marlins are certainly used to seeing speed at the ol’ home field. Dee Gordon stole 30 bases…
  17. The Cleveland Cavaliers Need More from Iman Shumpert… Or Else

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 12:20 wgmd.com
    While J.R. Smith has been absent, the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t had the production that they expected from Iman Shumpert and that has to change. Iman Shumpert was acquired in a trade that sent both him and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the New York Knicks during the 2014-2015 season. While this was a…
  18. Two Frankford Men Arrested In Robberies

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 10:29 wgmd.com
    Two Frankford men were arrested Wednesday in connection with multiple robberies in the area. 19-year-old Matthew Edwards and 20-year-old Zack Umstead were arrested after breaking into a Royal Farms and a Dash Inn on John J Williams Highway. The first robbery happened at the Royal Farms just before 4 a.m., when one went into the…
  19. No. 3 Bruins too strong for Sun Devils

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 09:18 wgmd.com
    LOS ANGELES — Like any shooter in a slump, Isaac Hamilton just kept putting the ball up, figuring it would eventually go in. Did it ever. The senior guard scored 33 points — three off his career best — and hit a career-high nine 3-pointers to help No. 3 UCLA rout Arizona State 102-80 on…
  20. Sacramento Kings: Game 42 Preview at Memphis Grizzlies

    Wgmd.com -  Delmarva
    01.20 / 09:17 wgmd.com
    The Sacramento Kings travel to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on January 20, 2017.  This article provides a preview of that game from a Kings’ perspective. The Sacramento Kings start an eight-game road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight.  This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season.  The Kings traveled to…