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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Sierra Club Vows to Block Maryland Fracking

(CN) - A Maryland energy company's plans to begin fracking for liquefied natural gas will destroy the Chesapeake Bay and coastal forests, the Sierra Club's executive director said Thursday.

Dominion Resources recently announced expansion plans that would enable its Maryland facility to export 1 billion cubic feet of liquid natural gas, or LNG, per day.

But Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said that the measure will not go down with out a fight.

According to a settlement agreement that the Sierra Club reached in 1972 with Dominion's predecessor, Columbia Gas and Electric, the environmental group says Dominion needs its stamp of approval before making any changes to the facility.

Sierra Club says Dominion's proposed expansion would endanger the health and safety of the people living downstream from the fracking site in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The group says hydraulic fracturing is a dangerous process that has never been properly analyzed. The technique is allegedly worse for greenhouse-gas production than coal mining.

Dominion's proposed expansion would also allegedly endanger nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Marcellus Shale region.

"It's a very beautiful, scenic area, and expanding billions of cubic feet per day in fracking will endanger this fragile landscape," the Sierra Club's Maryland chapter chair David O'Leary said in a statement.

Companies like Dominion should embrace clean-energy projects, such as off-shore wind farms, which will reduce energy use by 20 percent, help the state stay green and create much-needed jobs, O'Leary said.

Despite objections, Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell said the company will go forward with the expansion projects, with minimal impact on the environment.

Sierra Club attorney Craig Segall disagreed.

"We know that fracking is a dirty and dangerous idea because it can't be done safely," Segall said in a statement.

"Right now there is no transparent public analysis of the health and environmental costs that fracking will have on the country," he added. "We won't stop fighting until this information is available and people are informed about this process."

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