Breaking: 7 Cove Point Protectors Arrested By Dominion

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Solomon’s, MD – Early this morning, residents of Lusby and their allies picketed in front of the construction site for a temporary pier that will be used to bring large pieces of equipment in to build a refinery and liquefied fracked gas export terminal across the street from the community of Cove Point. They chanted “Hey Hey Ho Ho, Dominion has got to go” and “Save our community, No gas in Lusby.” They held long banners and discs painted with local marine and wildlife.

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Many passing commuters gave the thumbs up and honked their horns when they saw the rally. One father who was taking his daughter to school stopped and joined the rally.

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As workers began to arrive, the picketers prevented trucks from entering the site. Seven were arrested for trespass; two local residents and five allies. They waited for over an hour for the Department of Corrections to send a police wagon to transport arrestees to the Corrections Center.

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Here is a statement from Tracey Eno who lives in Cove Point and was arrested for the first time today:

“Most days when I speak, I represent opponents of Dominion. Today I represent everyone in Lusby: including residents who are both forand against Dominion’s plan. A gas refinery and export terminal is dangerous and cannot operate next to thousands of homes. If there is an emergency, we ALL will be impacted. Many people see only benefits of “jobs and taxes” and don’t understand the hazards: air, water and light pollution. Traffic. 24/7 noise. No viable evacuation route for thousands of people. I am here today to say “THIS IS DANGEROUS!” and none of us are safe until we are ALL safe.

Whenever one person stands up and says “WAIT A MINUTE, THIS IS WRONG,” it helps other people to do the same.

I am standing up in Lusby today, saying “Allowing Dominion to put 410,000 gallons or highly pressurized propane next to 14.6 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas, next to our homes is WRONG!”

I’m risking arrest today to say that we do not want Dominion to build a fracked gas refinery and export terminal next to our neighborhoods!

I’m not afraid to ride in a squad car. Because I’m MORE afraid to breathe the 20.4 tons of air pollutants Dominion wants to pump into Lusby every year.

I’m not afraid to spend time in jail. Because I’m MORE afraid to spend time in my own home, knowing that I am only half a mile from the flash fire zone, with no viable escape.

I am risking arrest to protect all the residents of Calvert County who will be impacted if this plant is built.

I am here to speak for all of those who can’t:

ü  those who signed the Dominion non-disclosure agreement

ü  those who work for the county and fear losing their job

ü  those who work at Pax River and can’t risk their security clearance

ü  those mothers who can’t leave their children home alone

ü  those who are afraid to protest or be arrested

ü  those who work for the county government, sheriff’s office, fire departments and EMS and know the truth

Cove Point is our neighborhood. Cove Point is our lighthouse. “Dominion Cove Point” is not allowed to take our name and then destroy our town. WE ARE COVE POINT!

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Tracey Eno, far right, is escorted off site by police.

The action this morning is part of a direct action training camp to kick off the new coalition, We Are Cove Point. See the press release below for more information.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

In a display of continued opposition to the construction of Dominion Resources’ Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal, residents of Calvert County will join with allies from across the state and the country for a series of demonstrations today and at sites related to the project. They will have a rally, starting at 6:30 a.m. today, at the project’s pier construction site in Solomons. At 4:00 p.m. they will gather nearby along Maryland Route 2-4 to display banners and lighted signs. At 6:30 a.m. tomorrow they will hold a rally at another offsite construction area located on Route 2-4 at Cove Point Road.

These demonstrations mark the first public actions by the new coalition We Are Cove Point. Since early 2013, the people of southern Maryland and their allies have been calling for answers from Dominion about safety, health impacts, and environmental consequences of the terminal currently under construction. Despite these concerns, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave approval to the $3.8 billion project, which would bring nearly a billion cubic feet of gas a day from fracking wells across Appalachia, liquefy it, and ship it to Asia, on September 29.

“This is where I live. There’s no other place I can go. I can’t afford to,” said Lusby resident and retired social worker Mark Giuffrida. “A large number of working poor people live in Lusby. Dominion is trying to exploit that. They view Calvert County as an easy take, and our commissioners seem to agree with them. We’re going to do all we can to prove that wrong.”

“Not only did they fail to answer crucial questions, but what little information they have given us keeps changing,” said Nancy Ball, who lives in Lusby and works as a veterinarian in Solomons. “The Calvert County commissioners and Dominion made all the decisions outside the public eye. We Are Cove Point will work to bring these issues to light. Corporations need to be aware that when they insist on harming our air, water quality, and safety, they will be opposed.”

We Are Cove Point was inspired by similar groups fighting energy projects across the continent. Over 70 people have been arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake campaign to block a plan to store millions of gallons of liquid petroleum gases and natural gas in depleted salt caverns in Reading, New York, on the shore of Seneca Lake. Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)has been fighting the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline in British Columbia, establishing an encampment to block survey work on the project.

Community members affected by the project will be available for interview at all the actions.

Live updates will be made on Twitter at @wercovepoint.