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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Communities must wrest back local control.

...the possibility of an explosion is undeniable. Homeowners know that, unlike with oil-based fires that burn locally, an LNG fire could trigger an explosion that could race along the pipeline.

"Homeowners and communities are unprepared for an invasion of their cherished private yards and public spaces. The Mid-Atlantic region is facing an expansion of natural gas transport infrastructure that threatens communities' health, safety and homes. With increased hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and plans to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), the gas industry needs supporting infrastructure. Beyond drilling wells, energy companies are building compressor stations and laying thousands of miles of pipelines. The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America has estimated that from 2011 to 2035, the industry must build nearly 15,000 miles of subsidiary lines — each year.
It is hard to ignore the compressors and pipelines extending quickly through the region. Last month, Dominion Power gained the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a plan to convert a dormant LNG import facility at Cove Point on the Chesapeake Bay into a major exporting facility for fracked gas. With the FERC's green light, Dominion will start exports from the facility in Lusby, Md., in 2017. Now, residents are engaged in battles to protect their families and neighborhoods: Until 2012, Lusby was a peaceful town of more than 20,000 people who happily raised children in a safe and quiet environment. Dominion's plans will turn their lives upside down, threatening quality of life, health, safety and property values. Families are distraught. About 360 homes lie within 4,500 feet of the site, to which large trucks will regularly haul heavy equipment and construction will generate noise. While an increase in pollution is undisputed, Dominion has easily satisfied the FERC's pollution-abatement requirement by buying clean-air credits from elsewhere in Maryland — which will not alleviate the toxic conditions around the facility."