Cove Point: Disobedience and record crowds as movement rises

I’m writing today with some truly inspiring updates on the grassroots movement rising up all across Maryland to stop Dominion’s Cove Point fracked gas export plan. (And a few new action opportunities, so make sure to read all the way down.)

frederick4courthouse260x175The latest: Today in Frederick, four Maryland citizens engaged in peaceful civil disobedience to protest Cove Point. With signs like “This Is Our Public Comment,” they blocked the entrance to the county courthouse, drawing attention to the ways Dominion’s export plan threatens central Maryland. Dominion is suing the nearby town of Myersville to build a polluting, oversized gas compressor station (linked to the same pipeline network as Cove Point) less than a mile from the local elementary school. (Share this Facebook post to show your support and read their stories here.)

cumberland4arrested260x175The Frederick protest comes a week after four citizens peacefully blocked the entrance to the county courthouse in Cumberland, protesting the fracking wells and gas infrastructure Cove Point could force upon western Maryland [1]. And it followed an incredible public hearing in Calvert County on Saturday with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Upwards of 600 people turned out and, as news coverage attests, a full two-thirds of those standing up to testify were opposed to Dominion’s plan.[2]

I hope this inspire you as much as they inspire me — and get you ready for more action — because there are two ways you can help out right now:

    1. Help collect “No Cove Point” public comments to deliver to the Public Service Commission before the April 2nd deadline. In a victory, the PSC ruled (over the objections of Dominion) to extend the public comment period on a key state-level permit for the Cove Point export facility. We’re collecting thousands of comments from across Maryland for a public delivery to the PSC in late March. Sign up to collect comments in your community, and we’ll send you all the materials you need.

    2. Share this just-released video with all your friends and networks. This three-minute video lays out the case against Cove Point with inspiring footage from the February 20th “Stop Cove Point” rally and march in Baltimore. It’s a great tool to educate more Marylanders about what’s at stake and grow our movement. Click here to watch the video and then share away!

This much is clear: Since hundreds of us rallied in downtown Baltimore in late February, the grassroots movement to stop Dominion’s disastrous plan is only growing. There’s no question we still face an uphill fight. But there’s also no question that we’re climbing that hill together — by building a community-based campaign the likes of which Maryland has rarely seen.

I couldn’t be more proud to be in this movement with you.

Mike Tidwell
Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

1. See news coverage of the Cumberland protest in the Cumberland Times-News and Associated Press. Read the stories of those arrested by clicking here.

2. The Calvert Recorder news story on Saturday’s public hearing ran with the headline of “Overwhelming opposition voiced at PSC hearing for Dominion project,” reporting that, “68 percent of the speakers, many of whom are nearby residents of the Lusby terminal, were opposed to the project.”

More information

Chesapeake Climate Action Network
On Facebook:

Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community
On Facebook: Myersville Citizens Concerned About Natural Gas Compressor

Press Release from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Cove Point Protest Spreads: Four Arrested at Frederick Courthouse Over Fracked Gas Export Plan

Southern Maryland News Net
Four Arrested at Frederick Courthouse Protesting Cove Point Project

See statements by the four activists on why they engaged in civil disobedience over Cove Point.

View photos of today’s protest on Flickr (hi-res pictures available upon request)

Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community fact sheet on Dominion’s proposed Myersville compressor project.

Baltimore Sun
Hundreds rally to oppose Cove Point project

Cove Point Makes National Headlines

A Big Fracking Lie (by Bill McKibben and Mike Tidwell)

Baltimore Sun Editorial
Cove Point deserves closer examination December 2, 2013

Fact sheet
Get the facts on the dangers of fracked gas exports at Cove Point versus the benefits of expanding Maryland’s clean energy supply.

Fact Sheet
Get the facts on how the proposed Cove Point LNG export facility threatens southern Maryland.

A three minute video from the folks at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Maryland Rises to Stop Cove Point

tidwellspeechvideothumbnailShort videos of five of the many speeches given at the recent Cove Point rally in Baltimore:

Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network: Cove Point Is the Radical Energy Choice

Delegate Heather Mizeur Says No to Cove Point

Lois Gibbs: Dominion’s Cove Point and the Story of Love Canal

Karen Feridun: Cove Point Isn’t Only About the Safety of Maryland Citizens

Rebecca Ruggles of the Maryland Environmental Health Network: Critical Health Questions for Dominion’s Cove Point