Protesters arrested opposing natural gas exports
Two dozen environmental activists were arrested Monday outside the Washington D.C. offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They were protesting the proposed Cove Point export terminal for liquefied natural gas. If approved by FERC, the facility would be the closest gas export terminal to the Marcellus Shale.
About 40 protesters participated in the demonstration. Some linked arms and blockaded several entrances to the office building in an attempt to keep FERC employees from getting to work. Twenty-four of them were arrested for blocking a public passageway. Monday’s protest followed another D.C. rally on Sunday opposing gas exports.
The Cove Point facility, which would be operated by Dominion Resources, was given conditional approval by the Department of Energy in September. In May, FERC issued its environmental assessment– concluding that the project would not result in any significant environmental impacts. FERC could make a decision on Cove Point as early as next month.
The Cove Point terminal already exists. It sits along the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland and was designed as a gas import terminal [see photos of the facility and read more here]. Due to the massive expansion in domestic gas production in the wake of the shale boom, the facility is now one of several seeking to switch from imports to exports. Dominion has said the project will create thousands of new jobs. Environmental opponents argue it will lead to higher domestic natural gas prices and expanded drilling.