BALTIMORE (AP) — A Montgomery County lawmaker says she will sponsor a bill to ban natural gas drilling in Maryland until conclusive studies are conducted.

Delegate Heather Mizeur says she fears drillers want to wait out a moratorium ordered by the governor until a two-year study is completed. Lawmakers didn’t pass a bill in this year’s session that would have funded a study.

Mizeur told The Daily Record of Baltimore that the bill would prevent drilling until study requirements in the governor’s executive order are fulfilled.

Natural gas drillers pump millions of gallons of water and chemicals underground to crack shale formations and free the gas. Critics say more study is needed to ensure the process, known as fracking, is environmentally safe. Supporters say drilling provides energy, jobs and income for landowners.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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