In March, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a joint task force with the goal of getting Europe off Russian gas and onto more of America’s fracked gas. Most Russian gas reaches Europe via pipeline, so getting U.S. gas to Europe will involve liquifying it and then shipping it across the Atlantic. And as shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States increase, so too do the threats from an unwelcome intruder inherently part of America’s natural gas mix — radioactivity. That’s because government figures indicate that much of the gas that will be shipped to Europe may come from the Marcellus and Utica, black shale formations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
During a virtual meeting on May 11, the public had an opportunity to comment on a proposed floating LNG export facility 16 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, a barrier island that was badly crippled last year by Hurricane Ida and is still recovering. Proposed by New Fortress Energy (NFE), the planned facility will be a floating offshore export terminal that would treat, liquefy, and store methane gas before loading it onto ships headed abroad. If realized, the terminal could export up to the equivalent of 145 billion cubic feet of the fossil fuel per year. Its application comes shortly after the Biden administration committed in March “to make available up to 15 billion cubic meters additional LNG this year” in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Europe’s attempts to reduce dependency on Russian gas.
Travis Dardar, an indigenous fisherman in Cameron, Louisiana, has a front-row view of the expansion of the liquified natural gas (LNG) industry’s export capacity on the Gulf Coast — and it isn’t pretty. “It disgusts me what man is doing to the planet,” Dardar told me as I photographed flares at the recently built Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility from his boat out in the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. I met Travis and his wife Nicole Dardar on March 17, before attending an air quality permit hearing held by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) in Cameron for another proposed LNG export project by Commonwealth LNG, a Texas-based company. The couple wasn’t aware of the permit hearing for Commonwealth LNG’s new export terminal project until I mentioned it to them.
"There are good reasons for that: It's difficult. The analysis is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes time to develop systems and methods and develop cross-agency and cross-academia expertise in those areas," he added. "But really the implications from our paper are that the greenhouse gas impacts from exporting U.S. natural gas, if you're really looking at how it impacts things here at home and abroad, can be very, very bad." That's because large volumes of U.S. LNG may not actually replace dirtier sources. Instead, the study says, exports could simply add more fossil fuels to the mix for electricity, industry and other uses, while prolonging the lives of American coal-fired plants.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group - Local police conducted a sobriety checkpoint in southern Calvert County, Md., to ensure construction workers at the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project, owned by Dominion Resources Inc., were not drunk or using drugs as they headed to work. The early morning checkpoint occurred on the same day that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) employees traveled to Calvert County for a routine inspection of the Cove Point construction project.
By Kelly Trout for CCAN - WASHINGTON, D.C.—Environmental groups faced off with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today, arguing that the agency illegally overlooked significant pollution and human safety risks in approving a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal along the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland. The $3.8 billion Cove Point facility was approved in October 2014 and is currently under construction by Cove Point LNG, LP, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources.
By Bruce Gellerman for WBUR - Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy approved plans permitting companies to export gas from Massachusetts to Canada and beyond. Opponents of the construction of two new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts claim the DOE’s decision demonstrates that the state already has enough natural gas and doesn’t need new pipelines. But proponents say building the new pipelines — costing $8 billion — will actually save ratepayers money and secure the region’s energy future.
Early this morning, Maryland teacher Carling Sothoron climbed a 150-foot-tall crane at a construction site in Lusby, Maryland, that is part of the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal project. She hung a banner reading “Dominion get out. Don’t frack Maryland. No gas exports. Save Cove Point.” Sothoron is part of Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction (SEED), an umbrella group of mid-Atlantic activists fighting dirty energy projects. She remains on the crane. Heather Doyle, another SEED activist who stayed at the bottom of the crane to provide assistance to Sothoron, has been detained by law enforcement. ”The Dominion Cove Point LNG project is negatively impacting the environment and community in Lusby, MD. We are already seeing that it will directly lead to massive expansion of natural gas drilling and infrastructure throughout the mid-Atlantic region, from the coast to the Appalachian Mountains. I’m taking direct action today because I’m not willing to let the natural gas industry destroy Maryland, my home,” said Sothoron.
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.