On the 8th of January, in still bitter cold, the Sierra Club, Chesapeake Earth First! and over 100 MD residents marched on Annapolis. They were demanding a legislative moratorium on gas fracking in MD, and the rejection of Dominion’s proposal for LNG export out of Cove Point in Calvert County.
This was a two-part action. Phase I focussed on the proposal by Dominion Energy to turn the old Cove Point gas import facility into an export terminal for fracked gas. When the import facility was opened, the Sierra Club sued and the terms of the settlement gave them a veto on any new use of the plant not mentioned in the deal. At the time gas exports were illegal throughout the US and thus were not mentioned. As a result, the Sierra Club is suing Dominion for breach of the original settlement. With the first appeal being heard at a courthouse in Annapolis, the Sierra Club bottomlined a rally outside the courthouse.
This was followed by a march to “Lawyer’s Mall” outside the MD House and Senate Office Buildings for a second rally demanding that the expiring executive moratorium on gas fracking in MD be replaced with a legislative moratorium. Turns out there are potential gas fracking sites as close to DC as Montgomery and PG Counties! At the close of the second rally, protesters fanned out to “greet” legislators with moratorium demands as they walked to the State House to open the MD legislative session. Some of that looked like having them run the gauntlet.
There were metal “protest pen” fences around Lawyer’s Mall and a half-dozen or more cops on hand, possibly out of fear or any fracking protests, possibly for fear of Chesapeake Earth First!, which will be watching the fracking and Cove Point gas export issues very closely.