Anti-LNG Legislation Proposed in Maryland

The Baltimore Sun today reports on two Maryland House bills, House Bill 1670 and 1671, that attempt to vest siting authority over LNG facilities with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Both bills prohibit the construction or operation of an LNG facility without authorization from the MdPSC, and require that any LNG facility be located a minimum of two miles from any residence. Bill 1670 applies specifically to Baltimore County, and is likely directed at AES’ proposed Sparrows Point LNG terminal in Dundalk, Md. Opponents of the Sparrows Point terminal testified yesterday at a House hearing in support of the legislation. Aaron Samson, managing director of the AES project, disagreed with the “misguided” legislation. “We think there’s a lot of misinformation out there … [t] his is, by industry standards, a remote site,” he said.

Bill 1671 would apply to the entire state. Calvert County officials and some residents protested the bills and testified that the legislation could negatively impact the existing Cove Point LNG terminal and prevent the proposed expansion that would bring hundreds of jobs to the area. Carolyn Jones, president of the Greater Dundalk Alliance, said that the situations in Dundalk and Calvert County are not comparable. She said that residences are protected from the Cove Point facility. “Cove Point is apples,” Jones said. “We’re oranges.” Both bills also grant the MdPSC authority to inspect the facilities periodically to ensure compliance with safety regulations and impose penalties for non-compliance. [Access to archived articles requires a fee.]

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