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Sierra Club : Statement on Conditional Authorization of LNG Exports from Cove Point, MD

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09/11/2013 | 08:00pm EST

Sierra Club Statement on Conditional Authorization of LNG Exports from Cove Point, MD

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- This afternoon, the Department of Energy announced conditional approval for Dominion's Cove Point, Maryland facility to export liquefied natural gas.

In response Deb Nardone, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas Campaign, released the following statement:

"With the Department of Energy (DOE) today conditionally authorizing Dominion Resources to export gas from a liquefied natural gas terminal in Cove Point, Maryland, it is deeply disappointing to see that Secretary Moniz persists in leading the nation and the world into a dirty energy future. It's a bad deal all around: for public health, the environment, and America's working people.  The economic study the DOE itself commissioned clearly states that LNG export will transfer wealth from wage earners to fossil fuel executives.  LNG export is nothing but a giveaway to the dirty fossil fuel industry, at the expense of everyday Americans.

"Exporting LNG to foreign buyers will lock us into decades-long contracts, which in turn will lead to more drilling -- and that means more fracking, more air and water pollution, and more climate-fueled weather disasters like record fires, droughts, and superstorms like last year's Sandy.  And all this when we know that the dangers of natural gas will only become more clear as we learn more about its effects on health and the climate. 

"As we have shown, once environmental impacts are evaluated, it becomes clear that the additional fracking and gas production exports would induce is unacceptable. DOE did not consider these impacts or any other impacts in today's conditional authorization. Instead, DOE is basing its decision on environmental reviews that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has yet to conduct. When these environmental impacts are considered, it is clear that natural gas needs to stay in the ground, and the administration needs to double down on clean energy like wind and solar that would protect us from the worst effects of climate disruption while putting Americans to work.

"The Sierra Club has been granted party status in this docket, and will hold DOE to its commitment to fully review environmental issues before deciding whether to issue final authorization. We will also monitor all other permits and approvals that the Cove Point Facility will require, and will take action as necessary.  Additionally, Sierra Club continues to seek enforcement of a decades-old agreement between the Sierra Club and Dominion Cove Point LNG which clearly prohibits expansion of this facility to allow for exports.  The Sierra Club intends to hold Dominion accountable for complying with the commitments it made to protect the Cove Point environment."

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