Sierra Club Will Try to Block Maryland LNG Export Terminal

The Sierra Club will oppose and attempt to block a facility that will liquefy and export natural gas from Cove Point, Maryland. The very same facility from which Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas are trying to negotiate a deal to receive LNG from Dominion Resources (see this MDN story).

The Sierra Club said Thursday it will try to block an energy company’s plan to export liquefied natural gas to find new markets for the drilling boom that has flooded the mid-Atlantic with natural gas.

Richmond-based Dominion Resources Inc. is seeking to export 1 billion cubic feet per day through a terminal it owns in Maryland. A legal settlement dating to the 1970s allows the Sierra Club to reject any significant changes regarding the natural gas terminal in Cove Point, Md., 60 miles southeast of Washington.

The environmental group says the export project could cause major harm to the Chesapeake Bay and nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland.

"The damage that this project would bring to the Maryland coast as well as the disastrous effects of the fracking boom on communities in states like Pennsylvania make it clear that exporting liquefied natural gas is bad news for Americans’ air, water and health," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

Thomas F. Farrell II, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources, said the company intends to proceed with the project.

"We have reviewed the various regulations, agreements and rulings from various regulatory bodies governing the site and are confident that we will be able to locate, construct and operate a liquefaction facility at Cove Point," Farrell said.

Dominion will design the plant to minimize environmental damage, he said.*

The lawyers will now enter stage right as this latest anti-drilling drama unfolds.

*Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch (Apr 27, 2012) – Sierra Club challenges Md. natural gas terminal