March 15, 2014 Leave a comment
There is a threat coming to the state of Maryland in the form of a new plan by Dominion Resources,
Inc. for a $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cove Point, Md. Dominion, a company based out of Richmond, Va., is one of the biggest producers and transporters of energy in the United States. They currently own an LNG import facility in Cove Point, and would like to further develop it into a fully functioning export facility. Natural gas, a fossil fuel found deep underground that consists mainly of methane, is touted as a cleaner burning fuel in comparison to coal or oil, yet there is some controversy about this source of energy. Natural gas is extracted from the ground by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a process of pumping a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals into a fracking well at very high pressure and exploding the layers of rock so natural gas trapped within the rock can escape and be captured aboveground. This drilling practice and the development needed for it have been known to pollute drinking water sources like ponds or aquifers with chemicals and methane, pollute the air surrounding the drilling wells with toxic gases, deteriorate local roads, and otherwise harm or endanger local people’s well-being and livelihoods. The proposed LNG export facility would depend on this harmful drilling practice, and also require pipelines, compressor stations, and its own power plant to fuel the liquefaction of the gas.
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