Environmentalists Upset Over Plans To Export Gas Out Of Eastern Shore | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Environmentalists Upset Over Plans To Export Gas Out Of Eastern Shore

Play associated audio

Dominion Power's bid to build an export facility at Cove Point reflects a national trend. Fracking -- pumping liquid deep under ground to push out natural gas -- has been wildly successful despite controversy around the environmental effects of the practice. There's so much natural gas now, and recession-tempered demand in the U.S. is so low, that producers want to export, which has environmentalists worried.

"There is contamination of local drinking water, local ground water, there's a huge issue of what you do with waste," says Robin Broder, vice president of Potomac Riverkeeper, one of several Riverkeeper groups opposing the Cove Point plant.

They argue exports would reduce energy independence and raise domestic prices, but Broder's primary concern is that exports might encourage fracking in Pennsylvania, parts of Western Maryland, and Virginia in the Potomac Watershed.

"Demand on the gas would increase the drilling in some very marginal areas," says Broder. "Millions of people get their drinking water from the Potomac River."

Kevin Book, with ClearView Energy, says the environmental problems are solvable.

"All of these things can be addressed," says Book. "All of them imply a need for regulators and the industry to ensure best practices, but there's nothing to say they can't be addressed."

More questionable says Book is what exports would do to domestic natural gas prices.

"Natural gas has broken more hearts than anyone in America in a long time," he says. "What is being tested is the idea that fracking is so cheap and so easy that with any price increase, gas will come to the market and buffer that price increase."

He believes that indeed prices won't be affected. Regardless, he says, public concern is the determining factor of whether an export facility will be built. The more sensitive -- environmentally or politically -- a location is, the less likely any facility will be built there.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher. That's almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former homeland security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.