Stop This Dangerous Fracked Gas Export Terminal
To stop fracking we must stop the export of fracked gas. Without export the profitability of fracking shrinks.
Stop Dominion from building a deadly gas export refinery near our homes that’ll drive more fracking.
We Are Cove Point is a campaign created by local residents from Lusby, MD and allies from across the United States to stop the construction of the first LNG (liquefied natural gas, aka fracked gas) export terminal on the East coast. It is being built by Dominion on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
Here are a few of the reasons why this export terminal must be stopped:
1. It sets a dangerous precedent as the first fracked gas refinery to be built in a densely populated area, literally across the street from homes and next to youth sports fields. With ten more export facilities planned in the US, we don’t want other communities to be threatened like we are.
2. Not only does the risk of a catastrophic explosion or chemical spill threaten the families of Cove Point, but the facility will spew 20.4 tons of cancer and disease causing toxins as well as 3.3 million tons of Greenhouse Gases into the air each year. Dominion bought pollution credits that allow them to poison the local community.
3. The export facility will drive construction of more pipelines, compressor stations and fracking rigs from Massachusetts to North Carolina which will place more communities at risk of catastrophic events and poisoning of their air, land and water. This export terminal is to the Marcellus Shale what the Keystone XL and other pipelines are to the Alberta tar sands. Gas corporations need export terminals to send fracked gas overseas where prices are higher in order to make fracking profitable.
4. The carbon in the East coast’s Marcellus Shale, which covers 7 states, must stay in the ground. Like the Alberta Tar Sands, it is a carbon bomb that will amplify the climate crisis.
Although construction of the export terminal has started, it will take more than three years to complete. This gives us enough time to build opposition to stop it.
We Are Cove Point is a coalition of local residents and allies who are committed to working together to do what it takes nonviolently and creatively to stop this export terminal. Some of us are active in local groups that have been pushing legislators to commission safety studies. Some of us have and continue to use the judicial process. And some of us are experienced activists who are deeply committed to climate and environmental justice.
We see great potential for this campaign to grow and succeed with your support. In three weeks we were able to organize a nonviolent direct action training in Lusby and then held three days packed with actions. The response by the local residents was very positive. This is a community that is ready to fight back against Dominion. All it needs are some resources to aid them in organizing and taking action.
Your donation will have a tremendous impact on many families and communities and will help close the door on the fossil fuel era and open the way to a clean sustainable energy economy that will mitigate the climate crisis.
What We Need & What You Get
Our total projected budget for the first year is $50,000. If we can raise $20,000 through this effort, it will be enough for us to get started. We will be able to hire our organizer and print materials so that we can begin door-to-door canvassing in the neighborhood. This canvassing is essential so that we can raise more awareness of the dangers of the export terminal and so that we can listen to our neighbors and hear their concerns and ideas. The canvassing will be followed by public educational events including movie nights and powerpoint presentations with discussions afterwards.
In the spring, we will hold a weekend of community art building in preparation for a permitted parade through the neighborhood and to the gates of Dominion where we will display what the community wants to see in that space for a healthy and sustainable future. We will conclude that event with a potluck where we will provide lawn signs for families to take home and display.
We also have plans for more outreach to build regional support for the campaign, for outreach to new legislators who may be willing to push for safety and environmental studies, for more nonviolent direct action training sessions and for more days of action.
We hope to raise more than the initial $20,000, but we need at least that amount to have what it takes to get started. We hope you will donate and spread the word because we are ready to go.
We are a certified non-profit under the fiscal sponsorship of the Alliance for Global Justice, so your donation will be tax deductible.
We are offering unique rewards in this campaign. You will be able to get fossils from the Calvert Cliffs and scalloped shells from the region, a sample of Cove Point sand that you can wear as a necklace to connect you to the place, signed copies of our local artist Leslie Garcia’s cartoons that are inspired by the export terminal and more.
The export terminal being built by Dominion in Cove Point places the local community at risk of a catastrophic event such as a chemical spill or explosion. Because these risks are real, no export terminal has ever been built in a residential area before now.
In March, there was an explosion at a liquefied natural gas plant in Plymouth, WA which sent flames hundreds of feet high. People as far as 6 miles away felt the blast and a two-mile radius was evacuated. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.
Within a two-mile radius of Dominion’s plant in Cove Point there are 2,365 homes including 19 in-home daycare centers. For 265 houses, the only road leading out of the peninsula heads toward the facility. And the only emergency access to the facility is a narrow 2 lane road.
The We Are Cove Point campaign is about more than saving the local community. If this export terminal is built, it will make fracking of the whole Marcellus Shale which lies beneath seven states more profitable. More fracking means more families and communities that are exposed to its hazards. In Pennsylvania where fracking is prevalent, farmers have lost their farms and families have been forced out of their homes because of fracking.
The chemicals used in fracking and the gases and radiation that are released in the process poison water, land and air. Fracking is correlated with numerous health impacts. And methane leaks have made water undrinkable, started spontaneous house fires and add to the climate crisis. Fracking also causes earthquakes.
This export terminal will drive construction of more pipelines and compressor stations from Massachusetts to North Carolina. This means more communities will be at risk of local pollution and catastrophic explosions. Communities up and down the East Coast are fighting this expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.
Instead of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, we need to be decreasing it and moving to healthier and more sustainable sources of energy. Stopping this first export terminal on the East coast will send a strong message that other terminals will be stopped too.
We can stop Dominion’s terminal. Marylanders stopped one from being built at Sparrow’s Point in 2013. New Yorkers just achieved a fracking ban statewide. The momentum is on our side. We can turn the tide towards a livable future.
Risks & Challenges
Our greatest obstacle is time because construction of the terminal has already started. The community was kept in the dark until late last year. They have since been unsuccessful at stopping the project by appealing to legislators or through the courts. These efforts continue. There are cases in the works and there are new legislators who might take action.
At this point, no matter what, we need to build a strong grassroots base quickly and organize strategic direct action to slow the construction process. This will be necessary whether we win by finally studying the real public safety risks and health impacts, through revocation of Dominion’s permits, through the courts or by physically placing our bodies in the way.
There is a real potential to create this activated grass roots. People in the community demonstrated great support during the days of action in November and early this month. More people are interested in getting involved both locally and from outside the community.
We are already holding regular conference calls and have created working groups to work on particular pieces of the campaign. We really need a full time organizer in the community who can help to coordinate the pieces and orchestrate the canvassing and events. We have several excellent prospects for an organizer. If people are particularly generous and we raise more funds, we will even hire two organizers and that will be a great help.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you care about this campaign but can’t donate money at this time, there are other ways that you can help. Spread the word about this to other people you know and encourage them to donate. Follow We Are Cove Point on Facebook and Twitter (@wercovepoint) and share our posts and tweets. Sign up for the email list at our website, www.wearecovepoint.org. Perhaps you can volunteer. Contact wearecovepoint@gmail. com.