Cove Point plan deserves greater scrutiny [Letter]

December 06, 2013

Thank you for advocating for the application of an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point ("Cove Point deserves closer examination," Dec. 2). Yes, that is the least we should do. However, I want to point out that we need to think beyond the Environmental Impact Statement.

Let me explain. With the present Dominion Resources' proposal to pipe, liquefy and transport natural gas to Asian countries from Cove Point, not only will Maryland's air quality be affected with the expected leakage in natural gas from the pipes (fugitive emissions are inevitable) and the use of fossil fuel to liquefy and transport the natural gas, but the pathway for our state and nation in what road we chose to take will be decided. If we build a $3.8 billion facility in Maryland to liquefy and transport gas from hydraulic fracking from Pennsylvania, we will have more pressure to frack in Maryland — somewhat like the pressure to drive on the roads that are built near you.

Fracking and exporting the gas from fracking can seem like a good thing because it means economic growth and jobs. But we can also have economic growth building wind turbines, installing them and using them to generate electricity. If we build the liquefied natural gas export terminal, we only encourage more fossil fuel use around the world by exporting our cheap natural gas to Asia (which will increase our own domestic gas prices due to higher demands for the same gas). If we choose to lead in building wind turbines and using them to generate electricity and slowly wean ourselves off from coal-fired power plants, we can lead the nation and the world in more sustainable choices.

The choice to build the liquefied natural gas export terminal at Cove Point needs to be closely examined for the future of Maryland, the U.S. and the world.

Sabrina S. Fu, Ellicott City

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