Things are suddenly on the upswing for Maryland natural gas development with both the Cove Point LNG export facility and fracking moving ahead.
Maryland natural gas development, on the whole, is looking pretty good right now. Construction is beginning at the Cove Point liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal, the state’s current governor has given the signal to move ahead with fracking regulations and the recent election of pro-fracking Larry Hogan as the second Republican governor since the 1970’s, you can even say things are looking downright promising.
However, despite the spirit of progress most things trending upwards, opposition to Maryland natural gas development is not yet being detoured. Environmental groups such as the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the Environmental Integrity Project continue to consistently spread misinformation with the intent of instilling fear in those Marylanders who may not be as knowledgeable as we all would like them to be.
Environmental Integrity Project Less Than Honest
As a self-described news junkie, I rarely listen to music on my commute to work. I tend to listen to talk radio and the station I listen to more often than not (as I am ashamed to admit as a guilty pleasure) is, WYPR, which is NPR’s Baltimore network. I listen with the full knowledge the network is not very friendly to those of us who live on the right of the political spectrum, but I listen nonetheless.
WYPR, on Wednesday evenings around 5:30, offers an opinion segment called The Environment in Focus. It is hosted by Tom Pelton, Director of Communications for the Environmental Integrity Project, which proclaims itself, “a non-profit organization dedicated to holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health.” It is funded by the usual suspects among fractivist special interests; including the Park Foundation, Heinz Endowments, Rockefeller family, the Wallace Global Fund and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The University of Pennsylvania Law School, breeding ground for trial lawyers, is also a funder, which is revealing.
Earlier this month, on November 11, Pelton brought up the subject of Maryland natural gas development and it wasn’t pretty. Although, I certainly recognize Pelton’s program is an underwriting opportunity for the Environmental Integrity Project to gain public exposure, the information provided was just about as one sided as it could get. Whatever journalistic standards NPR may think it has were thrown out the window that evening.
The gist of Pelton’s pitch was that Maryland natural gas development coming on as a result of the election of a pro-fracking governor was going to produce pollution and contaminate the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Such one-sided communication is typical of the Environmental Integrity Project, but when it’s disguised, more or less, as a public safety announcement, the general public is not being well informed of the facts.
Maryland Natural Gas Development Inching Forward Despite Fractivists
Despite such opposition, which is constantly bombarding the airwaves and pages of NPR outlets, Maryland’s out-going Governor Martin O’Malley, has given way to fracking in Western Maryland. To try to satisfy many critics, he is only allowing this to proceed under the strictest of regulations; priding himself that they may be the strictest in the nation. Given these onerous restrictions, natural gas companies may not be so keen on proceeding, if lessons from Dallas are any indication.
Other fractivist groups, of course, are calling for still more studies to ensure the progress is stopped in general. They are not interested in the studies to see if we should proceed with Maryland natural gas development, but rather to stop it by the process of delay. Former gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur spoke for the delayers when she said, “”the only truly safe way to protect the environment, public health and the economy is to keep the gas in the ground.” Luckily, she didn’t make it and the incoming Governor Elect, Larry Hogan has decreed “…fracking has been studied enough and that it’s now time to make a decision.” We can hope that, as he reviews the regulations offered by O’Malley, he sees fit to interject some reason and modifies some of those onerous restrictions.
Objective studies clearly show the calls for further delay are nonsense. Air pollution and water pollution risks are minimal, despite rabid environmentalists screaming wolf over and over again. In fact, the air is getting cleaner and the record is dear that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated a public water supply in this country.
The abundance of natural gas development in Pennsylvania has resulted in more natural gas usage by power plants and vehicles and even on-site compressors are running off the natural gas they are pushing through the system rather than the diesel engines many previously ran off. The Maryland Transportation Authority is also using natural gas fueled buses for public transportation – acknowledging the clean aspects of natural gas.
Regardless of the last ditch efforts by anti’s to derail natural gas development, halt progress this state hasn’t seen in decades and dismantle thousands of jobs from Cove Point to Western Maryland, the environmentalist have not been able to sway even the most staunch liberal – Governor O’Malley, from making the right choice. Maryland can’t afford to stop it. We all want a healthy environment, so why not choose a method of energy that is abundant, clean, safe and proven to improve the environment and boost prosperity?
Editor’s Note: As a matter of full disclosure to our readers, K.J. Rodgers is my son-in-law and he and his wife, Kelly, reside in Crownsville, MD.
Check out what else is new at NaturalGasNow today!