For decades, there has been a mostly dormant liquefied gas (LNG) import facility in the community of Cove Point on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland. Surrounded by forest on conservation land and across the street from residential homes and neighborhoods, the huge white storage tanks are only visible from the opening at the plant’s entrance. It used to be that locals hardly gave the facility a thought. The area is known for its Calvert Cliffs, where 12-million-year-old fossils from the Miocene Era are plentiful, for its historic light house, beaches, fishing and boating, and for the usual activities of community life. Continue reading Dominion Builds Dangerous Gas Facility in Cove Point Neighborhood→
BECKLEY — Add the collective voice of the Monroe County Board of Health to the roster of opponents lining up against the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The MVP, which is in the permitting process right now, will stretch from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia when completed, with a path that includes portions of Nicholas, Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers counties. The controversial 42-inch diameter pipeline will transport liquefied natural gas.
In a lengthy open letter, Dr. J. Travis Hansbarger, Monroe County health officer, writes on behalf of the five members of the Board of Health, “The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline poses a significant and substantial risk for the health and welfare of Monroe County residents. The pipeline is designed to pass close to a public school and a long term care center, risking the welfare of some of our most vulnerable residents. Most importantly, our pristine water supplies will be in constant danger of contamination from runoff and turbidity. Continue reading Mountain Valley Pipeline: Monroe Board of Health Voices Opposition→
The opposition to the expansion of the Algonquin Natural Gas Pipeline, managed by Spectra Energy, Inc., is growing, as the proposed upgrades to the pipeline become more imminent.
Those opposed to the pipeline cite the fact that pipelines leak and sometimes even explode.
On Jan. 26, a gas pipeline in Brooke County, West Virginia exploded, sending a ball of flames hundreds of feet into the air. No one was hurt in the incident, which remains under investigation. Three other incidents occurred on U.S. pipelines in January, including another explosions in Mississippi, a leak in Montana that spilled 50,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River, and 3 million gallons of saltwater drilling waste that spilled from a North Dakota pipeline. Continue reading Fear of Explosions, Leaks Fuels Struggle Against Gas Pipelines→
Recent news articles, in my opinion, paint a rosy picture for the liquefied natural gas export terminal at Dominion Cove Point, but I believe there is more to the story.
The rapid drop in oil prices, from $100 a barrel to under $50 in January, has wide impacts, including on the export of gas. In December, Excelerate Energy in Texas decided to stop construction of its export terminal because of these economics. Dominion’s terminal seems on shaky ground. Solar and wind energy are becoming cost-competitive. Communities all over the country, including Cove Point, are resisting projects like this one. Proposed and even partially built fossil fuel infrastructure is being abandoned.
We have until Feb. 9 to tell the state’s Department of the Environment (MDE) what we think of proposed regulations for fracking in Maryland. And we have only to look at the “assumptions” listed in the regulations to know they are little more than snake oil, offering no protections from this industry.
Here are three key assumption used for these regulations:
E(1). “There will be positive economic impacts to environmental consultants and laboratories for the additional work that will be required by the regulations.”
Of course, we will also see “positive economic impacts” for physicians who treat people complaining of rashes, headaches, shortness of breath or hair loss. As some of the chemicals used in fracking and the emissions from well pads and compressors are known endocrine disrupters and carcinogens, we might years hence also see “positive economic impacts” for oncologists or hospitals treating babies with birth defects. These regulations are positive only in the sense that hurricanes are positive for builders and car crashes are positive for lawyers. Continue reading Fracking: Snake Oil for Marylanders→