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June 18, 2014 / franteplitz

Chesapeake Region Businesses Oppose Fracked Gas Exports & Call for Clean Energy

It’s particularly difficult for me to understand the denial that fracking has devastating consequences. It’s all about fast money for corporations. — Michael Penny, Savvy Rest, Inc.

This terminal will expand and lock-in unsustainable fracking for a generation, permanently damaging communities and causing a vast amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, most importantly for FERC and in direct opposition to their mission, Cove Point will raise prices for American electric consumers, while reducing reliability through lower fuel availability – which after the Polar Vortex – should be reason enough to deny this project. — Richard Graves, Ethical Electric

Dozens of small business leaders in Maryland; Washington, DC; and Virginia are speaking out against the proposed export of fracked gas from Cove Point on the Chesapeake Bay. As business leaders, they know they need to monitor and weigh-in on energy issues that will define energy policy locally and nationally for years to come. These businesses have come to recognize that a Cove Point gas export facility will ultimately only enrich the gas industry – while local communities will face the many dangers inherent in “fracking” gas, transporting it through pipelines, liquefying the gas, and shipping it overseas.

This past week, business leaders in the Chesapeake region delivered a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) expressing their concerns about the Cove Point gas export project proposed by Dominion Resources. First off, the businesses are concerned about the lack of due diligence on the part of FERC, noting that a full Environmental Impact Statement has not been conducted for this project—despite the many dangers to human and environmental health associated with this project. The facility would harm regional air and water quality, further incentivize fracking for natural gas, and worsen the climate crisis. Businesses also understand that exporting gas will also drive up energy costs here in the United States. As business leaders, they realize that their long-term economic success will best be achieved through a transition to renewable energy, not through increased reliance on fossil fuels.

Their conclusion? The Cove Point liquefied natural gas plant needs to be rejected.

If, however, FERC fist wishes to conduct a solid Environmental Impact Statement, businesses believe the Statement would need to:

• Assess the broader consequences of the Cove Point plant on expansion of fracking and of the gas industry;

• Evaluate the cumulative, lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that Cove Point would cause, from fracking wells to pipelines to tanker ships to smoke stacks;

• Include an independent, quantitative risk assessment of explosions that could affect neighborhoods in the plant’s vicinity. It is not credible for FERC to rely solely on data from Dominion.

Stop Gas ExportsSmall businesses, community organizations, environmental groups, health professionals, and others are stepping forward to oppose gas exports. What do they want instead? Increased investment in our nation’s renewable energy sectors and in energy efficiency. Smart businesses and smart policy makers know that building a clean energy economy is our best course of action. Thousands will be gathering on July 13 in Washington, DC to deliver this message to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the President. Join us!

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