The Sierra Club hosted a public forum this afternoon at the Waldorf West Library to discuss Dominion Power’s Cove Point Project in Southern Maryland that would set up a massive power plant for the liquefaction and transfer of natural gas to other areas in the United States and around the world. We must decide if this is good for Southern Maryland.
The Cove Point project would be built in Calvert County but the gas would be piped in from all over. With the discovery of the Taylorsville Basin of natural gas underneath most of Charles County, as shown on this map in orange, hydraulic fracturing is inevitable for us too.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is the current method of extracting natural gas from rock deep underground as an energy resource to provide electrical power and run commuter vehicles in this 21st century. Although using natural gas is more environmentally friendly than coal and petroleum oil based energy sources, the extraction and capture process is controversial in that many communities where fracking is allowed have found increased levels of air pollution from escaped methane gas; extraction chemicals in their water supplies and in contamination storage pools above ground; deforestation; earthquakes; and lowered resale property values.
Initially, property owners may be able to profit from selling or leasing their property to Dominion Power for its use, but you should know that this county and the State of Maryland would not receive any portion of the profits that the power company makes.
Every individual needs to do their own research and determine if, in the long run, we would be best served by allowing this venture to go forward in our portion of Maryland where we care for the health of our lands and waterways, especially those that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.
We must all consider carefully, and decide for ourselves. If you want to comment, or suggest that an environmental impact study be done, write or call the Governor, your state legislators, and your members of the U.S. Congress. This is your county after all.