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Proposed Cove Point plant is an outdated concept for a facility Maryland doesn't need [Letter]

The proposed liquid natural gas export terminal at Cove Point is a 2004 idea, the year it was first proposed. It requires overturning the national fuels export ban, ignoring new information about the potency of methane emissions and would represent a $3.8 billion investment in what some are calling a "carbon asset bubble" ("Hundreds rally to oppose Cove Point project," Feb. 20).

U.S. oil and gas companies spent $185.6 billion in 2012 on exploration and development of new fossil fuel production domestically. Now gas investors like Exxon and Dominion want us to let them sell the resulting glut in natural gas overseas. They envision a global gas market, with a global price and a better return on their over-investment — all of which are bound to increase domestic natural gas prices.

Thirty percent of the natural gas coming out of the ground goes up in smoke at North Dakota's oil wellheads. Evidently, it's not even worth the cost of capturing. This flared gas totaled $1 billion in discarded fuel and has created greenhouse gas emissions equal to 1 million cars.

Natural gas is the primary source of methane emissions. New calculations show methane's effect on the atmosphere is 70 to 100 times worse than carbon monoxide, and sea levels are rising faster along the Virginia and Mid-Atlantic coasts faster than anywhere else. We have no choice except to deal aggressively with methane emissions.

Since Cove Point was first envisioned, solar and wind prices have dropped substantially. Solar panels, for example, are down 80 percent since 2008. Yet Dominion has still to make a major investment in clean power. Our coastal communities should not have to pay for Dominion's outdated investment strategy.

Jane Twitmyer

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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