June 20, 2013

Peter Galuszka stated that natural gas “does not represent the long-term future of energy for Maryland or anywhere” [“An energy dilemma at Md.’s Cove Point,” Local Opinions, June 16]. So why does he support letting Virginia-based Dominion Transmission establish a massive gas export facility in Southern Maryland? Short-term profits don’t justify the long-term pain that will come to local communities and the climate.

Establishing this gas export hub at Cove Point represents a $3.8 billion detour from clean-energy solutions that are ready now. Much of the gas would come from fracking, a drilling process that has led to contaminated drinking water, felled forests and even earthquakes. Transporting gas from fracking sites across Appalachia to tanker ships on the Chesapeake Bay will require a growing web of fossil-fuel infrastructure that could eventually snake through places like Fairfax, Frederick and everywhere in between. Pipelines and compressor stations bring with them a significant risk of explosions and pollution.

Finally, the International Energy Agency concludes that a worldwide reliance on fracked gas would lead to six degrees Fahrenheit of atmospheric warming, thus cooking the planet. We must avoid the fracking-plus-pipelines-plus-export detour. We should invest instead in offshore wind power, solar arrays and efficiency — technologies that will grow our economy permanently and safely.

Mike Tidwell, Takoma Park

The writer is director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.