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Energy lobbyists spent big in Md., but failed to win on fracking

Perforating tools, used to create fractures in the rock, are lowered into one of six wells during a roughly two-week hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana Corp. well pad near Mead, Colo. Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons that now can be extracted with hydraulic fracturing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Perforating tools, used to create fractures in the rock, are lowered into one of six wells during a roughly two-week hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana Corp. well pad near Mead, Colo.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

ANNAPOLIS — The oil and natural gas industry spent more than $1.4 million to influence Maryland lawmakers during this year’s General Assembly session. But lobbyists still lost their fight to allow fracking in Maryland.

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that the American Petroleum Institute paid almost three times as much as the next-biggest spender on lobbying. The figures were recently released by the State Ethics Commission.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic majority in the General Assembly still agreed to ban the method of extracting natural gas.

The Maryland Hospital Association was the next-highest spender on lobbying at almost $500,000. The Maryland State Education Association, which represents the state’s teachers, came in third at almost $475,000.