Maryland right to reject fracked gas pipeline

As a lifelong Maryland resident and have lived all over our state, I congratulate Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Larry Hogan for denying the requested easement for the Potomac Pipeline (“Maryland Board of Public Works votes down ‘fracked gas’ pipeline through Western Maryland,” Jan. 2).

The 3-plus mile distribution line for fracked gas from Pennsylvania to be transported to West Virginia includes a Potomac River crossing through the C&O Canal and the Maryland Rail Trail. The construction and operation of the Potomac Pipeline would impact at least 10 wetlands and 19 streams in addition to the Potomac River. The easement posed significant risk to recreation and drinking water in Maryland yet provided no benefit to Maryland.

We banned fracking in Maryland to protect drinking water and our recreation economy. It was a sacrifice landowners paid in terms of revenue for the benefit of all of us. It made absolutely no sense to turn around and subject ourselves to the same risk, this time without even some local landowners benefiting.

Most important, however, is the moral imperative we face because of our disruption to our atmosphere and our challenge to the health and safety of every (current and future) person on the planet. Our worst case scenario is extinction. Our best case is millions either killed or displaced. Where in the spectrum we end up depends on every single thing we do individually and together.

So Maryland has an opportunity to make a significant difference in the amount of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere. The BPW was right to heed the moral imperative and lead, denying further harm to our planet’s atmosphere.

Andrew Hinz, Baltimore

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