DOCUMENTARY FILM: “Fracking Western Maryland?”

by Duane Nichols on March 2, 2016

Oakland (Maryland), March 5th @ 9:30 AM

“Fracking Western Maryland” — Premiering at: Garrett 8 Cinemas, Saturday, March 5th at 9:30 AM

A film by Mike Wicklein you won’t want to miss!

FRACKING WESTERN MARYLAND? is a documentary film by Mike Wicklein who has captured the contentious issues surrounding the fracking moratorium bill that was passed in the 2015 legislative session. The film features many familiar faces of Garrett County and legislators in Annapolis who advocated for and fought against the bill. You will learn how Engage Mountain Maryland helped to rally support to change the trajectory of this very important decision to hit the pause button on fracking Western Maryland.

If you’re on Facebook, you can join the event page to see who else is going and get last minute updates. Admission is free to the public. Seats will be on a first come first basis.

FREE ADMISSION — Saturday, March 5 at 9:30AM
Garrett 8 Cinemas, 19741 Garrett Highway, Oakland, MD


Lunch With The Producer — Chat & Chew!

Mike Wicklein will be present for this unprecedented premiere at Garrett 8 Cinemas to share his unique perspective on how the film developed from a 10 minute short to a 70 minute feature documentary. Engage Mountain Maryland is pleased to be presenting this important piece of work that so artfully weaves a story of a community bound by it’s love of the place they call home. You can personally meet the producer, director, and editor following the premiere at a special fund raising lunch. Join others in conversation and speak with individuals that are featured in the film.


A Stylish Premiere — Get your own commemorative T-Shirt!

You can remember this special event with the Premiere T-Shirt that sports the stunning poster image from the documentary, Fracking Western Maryland? They can be ordered in advance at our Engage Mountain Maryland shop or purchased at the event for $20. They are made of sturdy 100% preshrunk cotton and printed in full color. Sizes from small to 2XL are available while supplies last.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Engage Mountain Maryland March 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

From: Engage Mountain Maryland,

Your letters urgently needed today!

RE: Maryland Senator Edwards and Senate Bill 361 Hydraulic Fracturing Act.

He’s proposed two amendments that compromise public health and safety in favor of big industry.

Engage Mountain Maryland supports Senate Bill 361 Hydraulic Fracturing Liability Act and has gathered 300 signatures behind the bill that helped successfully vote it out of committee. Now Senator George Edwards has submitted two amendments to reduce protective measures for residents of Western Maryland in favor of the natural gas industry. Which should our Senator be favoring, public health of the people he represents, or corporate interests?
In short, he is requesting the following:

Amendment #1 The chemicals used in fracking operations not be subject to discovery, in other words, kept secret from the public.

 Amendment #2 Reduces by half, the amount of liability coverage a fracking company should carry for paying out claims against them.

What can I do? — Tell him he’s wrong!
You can write Senator Edwards and EVERY Senator and Delegate with your thoughts on this move to disregard the public health and safety of Western Maryland residents. Senate Bill 361 was written to hold fracking companies liable in the event of injury, death or loss of property. Senator Edwards seems to disagree with the amount of liability and the disclosure of chemicals used in drilling operations. Is this decision to amend SB361 for you or the natural gas industry?
The list is lengthy but you can copy/paste the addresses below into a single email for the Senate and the House. Urge them to support SB361 and to vote down any amendments that could weaken it’s protective measures for citizens of Western Maryland.
Thank you for helping ….


Engage Mountain Maryland March 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm


Join in person or by phone. Take part in the Shale Gas Advisory Group Sub-Group meeting to learn more about how regulations for natural gas development will relate to public health issues. 

Monday, March 14, 5:00PM – 7:00PM
Garrett County Health Department
First Floor Conference Room
1025 Memorial Drive
Oakland, MD 21550
The public is invited to attend.
JOIN BY PHONE! 1-415-655-0003 Access code: 645 210 474
Please mute your phone unless you are asking to speak.
A recent addition to SGAG is a Sub-Group to assist in preparing to review the draft natural gas regulations scheduled for release by Maryland Department of the Environment, MDE, this spring. One topic the Sub-Group members are exploring is Public Health and it’s place in the Draft Regulations.

A panel of citizens with expertise in this area have been invited to provide input and answer questions for the Sub-Group members. They will help review the overall regulations and discern the areas where public health and upcoming draft regulations intersect. The public is invited to attend, though public comment may or may not be able to be taken, depending on time constraints.
Thank you for participating!


Think Progress April 15, 2016 at 9:46 am

Fracking Is Now Banned In Prince George’s County, MD

By Samantha Page, Think Progress, April 12, 2016

Photo in Article — A view of the Potomac River at Hard Bargain Farm in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Prince George’s County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., voted Tuesday to ban fracking, the controversial oil and gas extraction method that has helped spur a natural gas boom across the country.

“We really are with this vote taking a lead in his state and in the nation,” Councilmember Mary Lehman said at the hearing. “I could not be more proud of this county.”

Maryland passed a temporary moratorium on fracking in 2015, and environmental advocates are hopeful that the Prince George’s County ban will help pave the way for a statewide ban before the moratorium expires in 2017.

“We are in full support of this bill and are very thankful for it,” Prince George’s County resident JoAnn Flynn told the Council. Flynn and her husband own and operate a farm in Brandywine, Maryland, where they use exclusively well water. “This water is connected to the aquifers and water sheds,” Flynn said.

Martha Ainsworth, a local Sierra Club representative, also stressed the importance of protecting local water. “Fracking is dirty,” she said. “It uses large amounts of water; it injects carcinogenic chemicals into the ground.”

We really are with this vote taking a lead in his state and in the nation
During fracking, which is short for hydraulic fracturing, chemical-laced water is injected at high pressure into shale, releasing the oil and gas deposits below. The practice has been tied to water degradation, health issues, and earthquakes. Prince George’s County is expected to be particularly appealing to fracking companies, as one-third of its land mass sits atop the Taylorsville Basin, which is estimated to have more than 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The county also runs along the Potomac and Patuxent rivers in Maryland.

More than 1,000 local residents had petitioned the council to pass a ban.

The ban is not the first of its kind, as local communities across the nation struggle to protect themselves from fracking. New York State has already passed a fracking ban — which also started as a moratorium before towns began restricting the practice at a local level. The New York State courts upheld towns’ rights to do so — but that’s not the case across the country. After a Texas town passed a fracking ban, the state legislature promptly passed legislation outlawing local bans. Oklahoma, which has struggled with a rash of fracking-related earthquakes, also prohibits local bans.

Councilmember Lehman said she hopes that Maryland will go in the direction of New York and that Tuesday’s action will “lay the groundwork for a statewide ban in Maryland.” Montgomery County, a wealthy D.C. suburban county, has already changed its zoning laws in such a way that fracking is essentially prohibited there, as well.

In fact, there is still considerable debate over what, if any, benefit natural gas has. While the fracking boom has helped the country transition off coal-fired power plants, it’s unclear if it has had the desired intention. Natural gas releases only about half the CO2 as coal when burned, but methane, which makes up 80 percent of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping heat energy about 86 times more effectively than CO2 over a 20-year span.

Unfortunately, gas is difficult to contain. Methane “hot spots” have been found over fracking sites, and this past winter saw the largest methane leak in U.S. history, from a natural gas storage facility in California. Many scientists estimate that the methane released in natural gas extraction, transportation, and storage outstrips any climate benefit it has.

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