Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dominion Cove Point

   There are new plans to turn Dominion Cove Point, a liquefied natural gas import facility in southern Maryland that has not been in use since 2011, into an exporting facility.  In the Washington Post article An Energy Dilemma at Md.’s Cove Point, writer, Peter Galuszka, outlines both the costs and benefits of transforming this facility and using it as a natural gas export facility, including the 4,000 jobs it would create and the billions of dollars it would bring into the area.  In his opinion, the benefits outweigh the costs and he believes that converting Dominion Cove Point is a good idea (Galuszka, 2013).
   I, on the other hand, disagree with Galuszka.  Galuszka points out that Maryland recently spent $1.7 billion on offshore wind development (Galuszka, 2013, ph. 10).  This investment will bring the state closer to its goal, which the Baltimore Sun reports is to increase the amount of energy provided to the state from renewable sources to 25% by 2020 (Browner, 2013, p. 5). Converting the plant and promoting the use of natural gas would push Maryland in the opposite direction than it wishes to go, turning the almost $2 billion investment into a pointless waste of money.  Although the facility could bring in an estimated $59 million to the state government (Galuszka, 2013, ph.8), natural gas is a nonrenewable resource.  With the entire country tending towards renewable energy sources, the plant could once again become useless in a matter of decades, if not years, proving this to be another waste of investments.  I believe that if Maryland does wish to make its goal of running 25% of electricity off of renewable resources and promote a more sustainable future, it should not allow Cove Point to be converted into an export facility.
--Courtney Schallhorn

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