Here’s a surprise, a Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge ruled that Richmond-based Dominion Resources can export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from additional terminal facilities in Cove Point, Maryland.
The Sierra Club filed suit against Dominion Resources, arguing that the 2005 legal settlement regarding permitted activities at the Cove Point location disallowed Dominion Resource’s plan to export LNG.
The judge, however, saw the settlement differently and ruled that Dominion Resources can export LNG by pipeline from its Cove Point terminal to tankers stationed at an offshore pier.
The Sierra Club didn’t start off on a good legal foundation from the beginning of this case. The club admitted that exporting LNG would not cause environmental damage around Cove Point, arguing instead that the exportation of LNG from Cove Point would encourage fracking in surrounding states.
Under the leadership of Sierra’s executive director, Michael Brune, the club has campaigned against “fracking” due to its less-than-stellar environmental record in the communities and areas where hydraulic fracturing has taken place.
But for America’s politicians in particular, fracking is the door for energy independence and even net energy exports. Environmental degradation can take a backseat.
The short-sightedness of politicians and our political system is as untenable as it is immoral. While there are advantages to fracking, those advantages are reduced as a result of lax regulations and the unwillingness of fracking companies to seriously pursue sustainable best management practices.
So while proponents of fracking celebrate the potential it portends for America’s energy independence, they disregard the immense damage that is being done to our environment as a result.
If we are to follow the common trope that “I’ll be dead before I see the consequences,” America itself will be a shell of what it used to be because too few individuals had the foresight or courage to look ahead and act in the best interests for the current and future generations.
America has become a country of quick and easy fixes. But the problems we are creating can only be resolved by long-term and gut-wrenching changes to how we operate as a society.