The Dig

The Dig

Fracking and Economic Impact

Many Marylanders became aware of the state fight to ban fracking during the spring of 2017. Garrett County small business owners like Nadine Grabania, however, have been working on this effort for a number of years.

The Dig: Fracking and the Economy

Once Grabania learned that fracking sites were proposed near her business, home, and small town, she quickly came together with other local property owners to research and ask questions. Citizen Shale, a regional advocacy group, formed in 2011, eventually got the attention of state lawmakers, despite what Grabania refers to as “tough odds.”

Armed with a development proposal map from Chief Oil & Gas, Grabania was able to create what she calls the “Sacrifice Zone Tour,” in an effort to introduce state legislators to the areas that would host gas infrastructure if permitting proceeded. This firsthand illustration, numerous health and environmental studies, and the vocal bio-tourism industry in Garrett County, arguably all contributed to the passage of the ban in April of 2017.

After years of work, Grabania is happy that investing in her business and home no longer feels like it’s in a “holding pattern.” She says the fracking ban’s implementation is “a relief,” and looks forward to investing in renewable energy.

The Dig: Economic Impact

Natural gas development in Maryland has been a hotly-contested topic for several years. Environment, economics, and public health are often cited as major issues in the debates, even as the Maryland General Assembly passed a ban in March of 2017.

Maryland Public Television presents the details and personal stories behind the subject here, in an effort to clarify the arguments behind the policy.