Sixty-three members of the Maryland legislature have sent a letter urging the Maryland Board of Public Works to reject the proposed TransCanada natural gas pipeline that would cut under the Potomac River just west of Hancock, Maryland. The TransCanada pipeline would deliver fracked gas to the Mountaineer Gas pipeline across the Potomac River in Morgan County, West Virginia.
The Board of Public Works – comprised of Governor Larry Hogan, State Comptroller Peter Franchot, and the State Treasurer Nancy Kopp – will meet today in Annapolis to vote on the pipeline’s fate.
Franchot told pipeline opponents last month that he intends to vote against the pipeline.
“We urge you to deny TransCanada’s proposal to build a gas pipeline through Maryland,” the lawmakers wrote. “We believe this project would reverse course on our state’s efforts to protect the health of our residents and combat climate change.”
“We understand that TransCanada is seeking an easement from the Board of Public Works to construct a 3.37 mile, 8″ distribution line for fracked gas from Pennsylvania to be transported to West Virginia.”
“Given that Maryland has banned fracking, it defies our state’s existing energy policy to bring the same public health risks to our residents by way of a pipeline. Moreover, enabling fossil fuel production runs counter to our state’s goals of increasing renewable energy production.”
“The construction and operation of the Potomac Pipeline would impact at least 10 wetlands and 19 streams, in addition to the Potomac River. The pipeline right-of-way includes a Potomac River crossing through the C&O Canal and the Maryland Rail Trail. In addition to violating the spirit of our renewable energy portfolio and fracking ban, the TransCanada pipeline also directly endangers public health.”
“We urge you to deny this request,” the lawmakers wrote.