The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a wetlands license on Wednesday for Dominion Resources to build a pier that is needed to construct a liquefied natural gas export facility in Calvert County. The board, which includes Gov. Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, voted 3-0 for the license to enable Dominion Resources to build a pier on the Patuxent River to bring in equipment to build the facility. Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion wants to construct the $3.8 billion project at its existing Cove Point terminal on the Chesapeake Bay.I'm sure the Phragmites appreciate the effort.
“We need the work. There’s a lot of guys that could use the work. It’s gonna be good for the locals and for our nation as a whole,” said Tom Stewart.In an annual budget of approximately $240 million (2015 estimated), that's a pretty substantial chunk. I'm pretty sure the liberals will find something to spend it on if it ever arrives.
Franchot said the project already has received favorable reports from state and federal agencies on environmental and safety matters. He said that “the cumulative economic benefits for the state and for the nation, I believe, are enormous,” adding that the project marks a step to reducing carbon emissions.
The company says the project will generate an additional $40 million in annual property taxes for Calvert County.
O’Malley said he believes natural gas can be a bridge to a better energy future.Yes, and so far, gas is a far superior fuel compared to coal from every possible point of view, worker safety, cost, cleanliness and environmental consequences.
However, he said it’s important to protect the environment through all the stages of production, from gas extraction to pipeline and export.
Residents of Lusby expressed concerns about the proximity of the planned facility to their homes. They called on O’Malley to demand a risk assessment be conducted for the proposal.Of course it has; natural gas has been shipped all over the world for years. When was the last time you heard of a natural gas disaster?
“If there’s some sort of gas leak, if there’s some sort of explosion. We know very little about this and we’re scared,” said Rachel Heinhorst. “Accidents could easily escalate and affect residents.”
Tracy Eno, who represents a group of concerned residents in Calvert County, said they are worried about an accident.
“This is relatively experimental,” Eno said. “It hasn’t been done before. We are the guinea pigs.”
Notice, that almost none of this discussion is about the wetlands permit. The wetlands permits (and requirement for) is entirely a weapon in an ongoing battle over energy.
BTW, from the appearance of facts on the ground, the expansion is going forward. Dominion is spending big dollars improving the road down to Cove Point in anticipation of the improvements to convert this facility from import to export.