ACTION: Stop Fracked Gas Exports in Maryland!

Take action against the construction of the Cove Point LNG export facility!

Where: Dominion Cove Point LNG Offsite Area B, Solomons, Maryland

When: 6:00 a.m. on November 10, 2014

SEED (Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction), an umbrella group of mid-Atlantic activists fighting energy extraction and exports, is calling on everybody who opposes the construction of the Cove Point LNG export facility to join us for a peaceful rally and sit-in against Dominion Energy’s construction of a giant pier, an important first step in the process of constructing the liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility at Cove Point in Lusby, Maryland. This pier will provide a means for Dominion to receive shipments by barge that are too large to transport via land, such as oversized construction equipment.

Where: Solomons, Maryland, “Offsite Area B,” a parcel of land directly east of the boat landing on the Calvert side of the Thomas Johnson bridge that connects Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. Parking is available at the boat landing, along the streets on Solomons Island and in other parking lots nearby.

There are three ways that people can participate in the action: Group 1 will hold signs and chant, cheering people on in a vibrant display of resistance without any intention of risking arrest. Group 1 will stay on public land that is deemed OK for supporters and onlookers to stand on without harassment from the police or other law enforcement. Group 2 will join with the sit-in until they are given a warning of arrest by the police, at which point they will join Group 1. Group 3 will participate in the sit-in and remain until they are arrested or the action ends.

SEED will be hosting a legal and know-your-rights training during the week of November 3 for anyone who wants to attend (more details to come). Jail support will be provided. However, each participant will be responsible for covering their own subsequent court or bail costs, should there be any.

Please share this call to action with your friends and networks. The more people who participate in this action, no matter which group they decide to join, the more successful it will be! We hope to see you bright and early on November 10!

Need help getting there? Email us at contactseed[at]riseup.net and we’ll do our best!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1553325824880200/

Activist Halts Construction of Cove Point LNG Export Terminal

Peaceful Protest Highlights Officials’ Disregard of Natural Gas Export Terminal Risks

November 3, 2014

In a show of opposition to the recent federal approval of Dominion’s Cove Point natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland mother Kelly Canavan has locked herself to a piece of equipment at a construction site in Solomons integral to the project. Canavan is the president of AMP Creeks Council, a small nonprofit organization that focuses on land use and zoning policy. She is also part of Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction (SEED), an umbrella group of mid-Atlantic activists fighting energy extraction and exports.

“The AMP Creeks Council has been opposing this project through several lawsuits for about a year,” Canavan said. “Now that FERC is poised to preempt any further victories we might be awarded in Calvert County, and Maryland officials at every level continue to support Dominion instead of residents, we are forced to take this stand. This is a peaceful protest to call attention to the carelessness and injustice that have characterized the course of this project from the beginning.”

Virginia-based Dominion Resources plans to build a $3.8 billion facility that would bring nearly a billion cubic feet of gas per day from fracking wells across the Appalachian region, liquefy it on the Chesapeake Bay, and export it to Asia. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project on September 29. Opportunities for public input have been limited and inadequate, and neither the agency nor Dominion has addressed several major environmental, health, and safety concerns.

The Solomons site is about seven miles south of the site of the proposed terminal. Dominion is currently constructing a pier to bring in equipment too large to transport over land. The site is located next to a public boat launch and fishing pier at the base of the Thomas Johnson Bridge, the only route across the Patuxent River between Calvert County and St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The structural soundness of the bridge has been in doubt since cracks appeared in its foundation in 1988. In addition, construction of the pier requires the severe disturbance of oyster habitat in the river.

“The destruction of this prominent area in the Solomons community is tangible proof of the determination of both Dominion and Maryland politicians to steamroll residents’ rights.” Canavan said. “Despite the power of the Federal government in this case, state and local officials still have an important role to play in protecting residents. Instead of joining with them to demand answers from Dominion and FERC, these officials have bent over backward to ease Dominion’s path.”

Under the Natural Gas Act, the Federal government has the ultimate authority in decisions over the siting and construction of natural gas infrastructure, including interstate pipelines, compressor stations, storage facilities, and export terminals. With the recent rapid expansion of domestic gas production through the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing, energy companies are proposing new projects at an unprecedented rate. FERC has approved the vast majority of those projects, while failing to consider the cumulative harm they will cause to health, the economy, and the climate.

Canavan’s action coincides with the Beyond Extreme Energy initiative, a week-long series of actions in Washington, D.C. and nearby to demand greater responsiveness, transparency, and accountability from FERC and other federal agencies. For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/beyondextremeenergy/.

8:05 a.m. Kelly has been extracted and taken to jail. Her support team were all cited for trespassing and allowed to leave.

9:15 a.m. Kelly is facing ten misdemeanor charges of trespassing. We are awaiting further news.

4:25 p.m. Kelly is still being held at the Calvert County detention center, awaiting a hearing.

4:50 p.m. Kelly has had her hearing and is being released on her own recognizance!

For Twitter updates follow @SEED_Coalition and #FERCIsNotTheBossOfMe

Pictures available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seedcoalition