LUSBY, Md., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Calvert County elected officials, business leaders and hundreds of residents have submitted strong letters of support for the Dominion Cove Point natural gas export project with the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Those comments were joined today by about 20,000 additional comments in support of the $3.4-to-$3.8 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project submitted by members of the building trades, which has been unabashed in their support of the project that would bring 3,000 construction jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefit to the county.
"Our plan to invest further in Calvert County by adding an LNG export operation within the footprint of our existing import facility has drawn tremendous support from elected officials, business leaders and residents of Calvert County, Southern Maryland and beyond," said Michael D. Frederick, vice president-LNG Operations. "The supporters join us in recognizing the clear public benefits the project brings to the region and the state."
Along with significant economic benefits, exporting liquefied natural gas from Cove Point could have equally significant environmental benefits, Frederick said.
"LNG exports from Cove Point can help avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions every year by replacing coal for generating electricity," he said. "The facility will recycle heat from the liquefaction process to generate electricity, thus avoiding as much as another 300,000 tons of CO2 equivalent each year. Furthermore the Cove Point project will have one of the smallest environmental footprints of all the LNG export projects proposed in the United States and will be built within the confines of existing facilities. There is no need to construct a new pipeline, storage tanks or a pier to load ships."
More than 400 Calvert County residents submitted individual letters of support. Letters also came from the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners, the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce, the Calvert County Health Department, Leadership Southern Maryland and the Patuxent Partnership.
Here are a few excerpts from the letters:
- Constance Warren, Lusby
"Making the Cove Point LNG terminal an export facility will do good things for Calvert County and the Southern Maryland region. The Cove Point facility has existed for the past 40 years and has been a great addition in the county. The county has made strides over the years, but can really be put on the map with the exports terminal. I support this project because of the jobs and revenue it will bring to the area."
- Donald Sauls, Prince Frederick
"President Obama and other progressive Democrats see projects such as Dominion Cove Point as essential in the fight against global warming and so do I. Mr. Obama has called out the importance of developing a strong global market for natural gas because he knows of the importance of shifting to cleaner fuels. Please stand with the President and our community by supporting the planned exports facility at the current Cove Point LNG imports facility."
- Margaret Callahan, Solomons
"The fact is Cove Point has been, and will be, crucial to our local economy and you have the power to ensure that this project moves forward. Please get behind Cove Point."
- Chris Moore, Realtor, member of the Calvert County Economic Development Council
"In my opinion, this is an opportunity of historic proportions representing an investment in our area of up to $3.8 billion. Few areas in the United States, much less Maryland, have any prospects of landing an investment that large. This investment and all the new jobs it will produce will help my business grow and expand, along with many others in our region. But I am also excited the project will put Calvert County, and indeed the whole state, on the cutting edge of one of the biggest developments in the energy industry in this century."
- Doris Cammack-Spencer, president/CEO, Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce
"As a Chamber of Commerce, the SMBCC considers the economic benefits of this project for our Members and the region, as a whole. This project will have very significant benefits during construction, including thousands of much needed, well-paying jobs throughout the region, to say nothing of the benefits to suppliers for the project and the wide range of businesses that will support the construction effort and the construction workers."
Dominion has asked the Maryland PSC for permission to build the power block that is necessary to chill natural gas to its liquid form so that it can be exported safely and economically. The commission heard testimony and witness cross examinations for three days in February and hosted a one-day public comment session in Calvert County in March. Its decision is expected by the end of May.
Dominion also needs the permission of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to proceed to construction. The FERC has announced that it will issue an environmental assessment of the project on May 15, which would start a public comment period. Dominion gave the FERC notice of the project in June 2012 and has filed more than 21,000 pages of documentation in support of the application.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.