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Maryland Delegate to Introduce Fracking Moratorium Bill

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    Anti-fracking protesters demonstrate in front of the Waldorf Astoria as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits the hotel for a function on Jan. 7, 2013 in New York City.

    Fracking opponents plan to be in Annapolis for the introduction of a bill calling for a state moratorium on the natural gas drilling technique until studies are completed on its impact.

    Delegate Heather Mizeur plans to introduce the bill on Thursday. Opponents of the drilling technique, also known as hydraulic fracturing, plan to join her at a news conference.

    Gov. Martin O'Malley issued an executive order in 2011 creating a commission to study the impact of fracking, but critics have said funding had not been provided. Last month, O'Malley proposed included $1.5 million for stream sampling, economic analysis and a public health review.

    Fracking uses water and chemicals to break up shale formations. Critics say it can pollute groundwater. Supporters say it can be an economic boon to rural areas.