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  • Activists gather at Sens. offices to demand accountability on Cove Point | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    May 22 2014 By Katie Malzbender Communications Fellow Share Today Marylanders are turning up the volume on Cove Point Dozens of activists are visiting each of Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin s district offices across the state to call on them to demand a thorough and comprehensive federal Environmental Impact Statement EIS for Dominion s 3 8 billion fracked gas export plan From Cumberland to Salisbury activists are making sure our senators know what s at stake for every Marylander and why we deserve to get all the facts on the table Check back here later today for ph otos from each action Want to take action but couldn t join the demonstrations You can add your voice in solidarity by calling your MD Senators TODAY and asking them to demand that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conduct a full and customary Environmental Impact Statement EIS for Cove Point Sen Cardin 877 292 7298 Sen Mikulski 877 559 7809 Today s actions are in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC s release last week of a draft Environmental Assessment for Cove Point Community environmental health and student leaders across Maryland have criticized the draft federal review for failing

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/activists-gather-at-sens-offices-to-demand-accountability-on-cove-point/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Climate Insider: Climate Report, Dominion, Derailed Coal and Oil Trains | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    release its Environmental Assessment a cursory environmental evaluation that according to the Environmental Protection Agency should not contain long descriptions or detailed data which the agency may have gathered After the release there will be a 30 day public comment period during which time FERC has agreed to hold one public meeting That meeting will likely be on May 31st in Lusby Maryland sign up here to receive updates Maryland During Earth Week The Nation covered the Cove Point fight as a major battle to protect the climate They close with a call to action saying In the struggle to mitigate the effects of climate change Cove Point would take us backwards We need to move forward Image courtesy of the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department Last week a train carrying 8 000 tons of coal derailed in Bowie Maryland spilling at least one car s worth of coal according to the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department There were no immediate public health or safety concerns as a result of the spill but the spotlight is on CSX the railroad involved in this and two other incidents in the past week The Baltimore Sun reports that Three CSX employees who were aboard the train at the time were accounted for and uninjured Last Wednesday the American Lung Association released its 15th annual State of the Air report which revealed that ozone or smog continues to be a major air pollution problem in many parts of Maryland Poor air quality isn t unique to Maryland half of the country lives in counties where ozone and particulates make air unhealthy to breathe While smog levels remain high the Capital Gazette reports there has been progress in reducing particulate pollution nationwide because of cleanup of coal fired plants and reformulating diesel fuels The Baltimore Sun had a slightly more positive take on the state s air pollution status quo saying Air quality has improved a lot in Maryland and nationwide over the past 15 years according to a new report But the story acknowledged that there is still a problem the state got failing marks for the number of days when people outdoors were forced to breathe levels of ozone pollution also known as smog that could trigger asthma attacks or heart attacks The Washington Post reports on HB 1168 the bill that threatens to stall land based wind power development in Maryland Most immediately the bill would effectively kill a state of the art wind farm project ready to begin construction on the lower Eastern Shore The nearby Patuxent River Naval Air Station and the wind farm developers had developed an agreement to turn the turbines off when the the Naval Air Station performed test flights However according to the Washington Post they didn t expect that U S House Minority Whip Steny H Hoyer D Md and a coalition of Southern Maryland lawmakers would circumvent the process Now Governor O Malley has a decision to make will he veto the bill or sign

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/climate-insider-climate-report-dominion-derailed-coal-and-oil-trains/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Train carrying crude oil derails, explodes in Lynchburg | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    of rail cars deemed an unacceptable public risk by a member of the National Transportation Safety Board in February These black pill shaped cars known as DOT 111s have been involved in recent notable oil train derailments in North Dakota and Quebec The decision to phase out these cars came after a DOT 111 caused the Quebec crash last July that killed 47 people You can follow DeSmog Blog s updates as the story unfolds Earlier this month concerns were raised about the possibility of just such an accident Crude shipments via Lynchburg Richmond and other heavily populated areas of Virginia began in December 2013 causing concern for environmental and public safety advocates In early April the Daily Press reported that Virginia environmentalists and activists are worried that an uptick in tanker trains carrying petroleum crude oil to a new storage and shipping hub in Yorktown is a recipe for disaster Sierra Club s Glen Besa told reporters he was concerned that a train derailment could result in an explosion and the loss of life or an oil spill that could jeopardize our drinking water supplies and the environment Luckily no fatalities were reported in the accident but the city has switched to an alternate water supply in case of contamination According to the Wall Street Journal The crash is the latest in a string of fiery accidents caused by crude by rail transport including one in Quebec last summer that killed 47 people and incinerated part of the town The Associated Press reports that National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said We are very clear that this issue needs to be acted on very quickly There is a very high risk here that hasn t been addressed The Richmond Times Dispatch posted a chilling video of smoke and

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/train-carrying-crude-oil-derails-in-lynchburg/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Climate Insider: KXL Delay, Fracking Transparency, Dear Dominion… | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    they can use their land According to Chesapeake Bay Foundation director William Baker it s hardly a mandate being imposed on high down to the states So while faraway states are concerned that protecting the Chesapeake Bay might somehow hinder their own economic and social development an idea that Judge Sylvia Rambo found to be flawed they fail to consider that polluting the bay hurts Bay adjacent states Baker says each bay state including Virginia voluntarily entered into the current restoration plan because of the economic recreational environmental and intrinsic value of a healthy Chesapeake Bay Zooming in on Maryland Last week in Lusby more than 50 people gathered at a community meeting to discuss the potential safety risks surrounding Dominion Resources proposed Cove Point facility Local residents are especially concerned after the recent explosion at a gas plant in Washington Many residents concerns stem from the fact that other plants do not exist in populated areas Local resident Dale Allison said he estimates there are more than 300 homes within a 4 500 foot radius of the plant Mr Allison worries that his family friends and neighbors will be an experiment But the conversion of the Cove Point facility to a fracked gas export facility is far from a done deal Sign up here to receive updates about the Cove Point fight and about an upcoming public meeting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as they decide whether to approve Dominion s plan This week we bring you some common sense from the Frederick News Post editorial board Fracking chemicals should be disclosed After a recent Mother Jones article outlining the health risks posed by fracking the public is paying attention to the risky practice Physicians for Social Responsibility helped draft and promote legislation that if passed would allow Maryland health professionals to access information on the specific chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing Maryland s Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee is taking up the question of who should have access to information about what s in chemicals used in fracking No decision has yet been made but that decision cannot be too long in coming at this point If it decides to permit it the state has an obligation and the public has a right to be fully informed about any and all processes and substances used in this controversial drilling method The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill this session to create a council charged with minimizing the impact of sea level rise on new state buildings The council will be comprised of Secretaries of natural resources business and management the environment general services planning transportation and business and economic development the chair of DNR s Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays the director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency the chancellor of the University System of Maryland and five others appointed by the governor to represent local government business and environmental interests The council is being formed as a result of Governor O Malley

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/climate-insider-kxl-delay-fracking-transparency-dear-dominion/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Reject and Protect: Tell President Obama to Reject Keystone XL | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    to answer to if he chooses to approve this disastrous tar sands oil project All pipeline fighters are invited to join the events and you won t want to miss the final tipi ceremony and march on Saturday April 26th Sign up here to join the mass Saturday action Want to be a part of the movement but can t make in into DC You can watch the opening ceremonies and events throughout the week via live stream here Last week President Obama announced he won t decide on the pipeline until after a Nebraska Supreme Court Case about the pipeline s route is decided While the delay is a victory for pipeline opponents every day that more tar sands oil stays in the ground is a victory it s also a sign that the president isn t ready yet to outright reject the pipeline as the evidence shows he must Rejecting Keystone XL would keep 1 000 000 000 barrels of tar sands oil in the ground and have the equivalent climate impact of closing 51 coal plants It s estimated that Keystone XL could leak 91 times over its lifetime into some of the most sensitive water tables in North America posing a direct threat to the farmers ranchers and tribes who rely on clean water for their livelihoods That s why these brave Keystone XL fighters are coming to DC and that s why we re joining them in their call for president Obama to reject the pipeline and protect our land water and climate As the week wraps up on Saturday thousands of people opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline will converge on the National Mall for a tipi ceremony and march in which we ll deliver a hand painted Tipi in President Obama s name

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/reject-and-protect-tell-president-obama-to-reject-keystone-xl/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Climate Insider: IPCC Report, Virginia Climate Commission, Anti-Wind Bill | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    for town residents It works like this If a site looks promising one of two local solar installers working with the program will do a thorough assessment and provide an estimate for a system to meet the homeowner s needs The town and CHP will provide information to the homeowners on the federal tax credit financing for their systems and other details More than 230 people have signed up for the program since its launch last month The program will help homeowners save on their monthly electricity bills and also potentially generate income by selling their renewable energy certificates to utilities looking to offset their own energy use This week Governor McAuliffe announced plans to reactivate a commission to advise him on what can be done to protect Virginia from the threats of climate change He focused on Hampton Roads and other coastal Virginia communities saying It rains a day or two or three and their roads are shut down That s just rain We cannot afford to ignore this We ve got to prepare our coastal communities to deal with climate change and all natural disasters The climate commission hasn t met in over four years largely according to McAuliffe because the former attorney general of the state of Virginia didn t believe in human caused climate change Governor McAuliffe acknowledges climate change as a serious threat to the commonwealth and ran for governor on a platform that included a commitment to addressing that threat He has a real opportunity in his first year in office to set a tone of action on climate change and Virginians across the commonwealth are holding him to his promises Last week saw an important step in encouraging new wind power development The Senate Finance committee voted to pass a tax extenders package that included an Investment Tax Credit ITC and Production Tax Credit PTC According to Tom Kiernan CEO of the American Wind Energy Association This provides a critical signal for our industry which has created up to 85 000 jobs and has a bright future ahead as we grow from 4 percent of the U S power grid to an expected 20 percent and beyond so long as we have a predictable business climate Both Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin supported extending these important tax credits Virginia needs a strong climate champion in Senator Warner so click here to let him know you appreciate his vote News in Maryland The Maryland legislative session has come to a close and not all of the results were positive for Marylanders concerned about the climate and environment You can see the Baltimore Sun s take on the good and bad of the 2014 session in this slideshow Of note HB 1168 the so called anti wind bill is included in the bad along with this call to action Governor O Malley who appears somewhat perplexed by this legislation should veto it The legislation in question would put a hold on

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/climate-insider-ipcc-report-virginia-climate-commission-bad-wind-bill/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Calvert County Community Group Demands Cove Point Answers and Safety Risk Assessment in the Wake of Plymouth, Washington LNG Facility Explosion | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    to directly contradict Dominion s assurances 6 Apparently Maryland DNR officials were tasked with producing an independent risk analysis of the 2006 Cove Point expansion which included the two largest LNG single containment tanks on the site today The DNR report was a quantitative risk assessment that looked at every possible mishap scenario including terrorism The DNR report clearly shows that risks DO extend offsite as the plant exists today Indeed if one of the new Cove Point tanks were to rupture and spill all of its contents according to a chart on page 23 of that report citizens within 1 300 meters 4 265 ft of that failed storage tank could be exposed to a fatal flash fire risk The DNR study of the last expansion appears to be much more extensive from a safety perspective than the limited prescriptive hazard assessment utilized by FERC The worst mishap scenario referenced in the FERC Environmental Impact Statement for the 2006 Dominion Cove Point expansion was a one hour LNG storage tank leak from a 24 inch sump line into a sub impound area 7 The Plymouth WA incident proves that a one hour LNG leak from an LNG tank is not the worst case scenario at an LNG facility in the United States Lusby residents are demanding answers of our local state and federal regulatory agencies Specifically we demand to know Why were Lusby residents never informed about the involuntary fatal risk hazards we were exposed to with the last expansion at Cove Point Would full containment tanks in lieu of single containment tanks have mitigated those risks 8 If FERC safety criteria stipulate that no fatal hazards from LNG terminals may extend offsite why was the last expansion approved by FERC WHAT WE DEMAND FERC must complete a comprehensive quantitative risk assessment of the worst case compound explosion hazards of Dominion s LNG export facility involving the full and open participation of residents living in its shadow Dale Allison a father from Lusby Maryland who is a retired U S Navy civilian aerospace engineer responded to the news of the Plymouth LNG facility explosion with a fourth submittal to FERC s docket on the Dominion Cove Point LNG export expansion reiterating his concerns regarding the explosive hazards which residents will face with the addition of a utility scale power plant and a large scale extremely hazardous liquefaction train at the already crowded footprint of the Dominion property which is less than a half mile from his home 9 Allison reacted to the events in Plymouth The unfortunate mishap which just occurred at the Plymouth LNG facility once again highlights the absolute requirement that LNG terminals only be sited in remote locations Cove Point is not that site But if you insist on proceeding here is what we require Because the proposed Cove Point liquefaction site is so tightly packed with hazardous process equipment and materials and because there are so many homes in close proximity we demand that a

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/calvert-group-demands-cove-point-safety-risk-assessment-plymouth-lng-explosion/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Climate Insider: Climate Report, Calling on Obama, Green in Virginia | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    reduction by 2020 which they have very nearly achieved The United States by contrast has said it will reduce carbon by 17 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 which equates to a fall of 3 5 percent below 1990 levels This week the White House launched its climate change data website aimed at making climate data available to researchers businesses and governments working to adapt to climate change You can check out the early phase of the website here The project includes the introduction of a climate focused section of the federal government s open data platform at climate data gov an innovation challenge to solicit ideas from the private sector to demonstrate coastal flooding and collaboration with companies like Google and Ersi to provide technological support Speaking of the White House 16 environmental groups wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday calling on the administration to reverse course on this plan to expand natural gas extraction and commit instead to keeping most of our nation s fossil fuel reserves in the ground in line with the recommendations of most of the world s leading climate scientists The letter called on the President to demand an Environmental Impact Statement for Cove Point as a good faith first step You can read the full letter here The letter was announced in a tele press conference with CCAN director Mike Tidwell 350 org director and world renowned climate activists Bill McKibben and Sierra Club Director Michael Brune It generated press coverage across the country Read articles from the Wall Street Journal Wisconsin Gazette Chicago Tribune and local Baynet The arguments against exporting American natural gas aren t just environmental the costs to our wallets and ur daily lives of exporting our energy sources are often very high National Geographic has entered the gas exports conversation pointing out that gax exports would mean that Not only would Americans pay more for heating fuel but manufacturers who use natural gas not only for power but as a feedstock for a wide array of plastic products would see higher costs as well The article also points out that there is strong opposition to natural gas exports from industry leaders including Dow Chemical who oppose the price increases that would accompany exporting American natural gas Cove Point isn t the only big environmental issue in Maryland As the General Assembly session is wrapping up we bring you news from Annapolis CCAN s DC and Maryland Policy Director Tommy Landers is quoted in this piece about the House committee s failure to pass a bill to exclude dirty black liquor from maryland s clean energy standards As a result Maryland ratepayers will again send over 20 million in 2014 to out of state paper mills that have been burning this carbon intense industrial waste called black liquor for decades and for the last seven years selling the power back to us as clean energy Landers said Bill supporters will return to Annapolis next year to build

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/climate-insider-climate-report-calling-on-obama-green-in-virginia/ (2016-05-02)
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