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If the Sierra Club wins, Md. workers lose

Natural GasNatural ResourcesEnergy ResourcesU.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In a recent op-ed ("Don't export LNG in Maryland," March 5), the executive director of the Sierra Club does his best to convince readers he's genuinely concerned about the Cove Point natural gas gateway in Calvert County. In reality, though, the California-based organization is opposed to Cove Point not because it cares about Lusby, Md. (or can even find it on a map). It opposes the facility because it believes by doing so, it can halt the development of natural gas from shale in other states — having been unable to achieve those ends through more direct means elsewhere.

Of course, not only is this campaign based on a circuitous and less-than-genuine political strategy, it also happens to be based on assertions that are demonstrably untrue. In his column, Michael Brune suggests that the process of completing a well — also referred to as hydraulic fracturing — "is known to contaminate drinking water." But that's a false and has been outed as such by EPA, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior, whose secretary recently dismissed charges of water impacts from fracturing as "urban legend." Indeed, if the process actually caused the kind of harm that Mr. Brune desperately wants you to believe, why would President Obama include a shout-out to shale in his State of the Union address?

In the end, if the Sierra Club wins on Cove Point, Maryland loses — a loss that will manifest itself in hundreds of jobs lost and millions in annual revenue displaced. The Sierra Club may not care about any of that; the prize it's after is much bigger than Cove Point. But Marylanders should.

Debbie Brushe, Catonsville

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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