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Maryland Construction Jobs Created by Plant Approval, Not Without Controversy

Posted on January 20, 2009

While a new liquefied natural gas facility could create new Maryland construction jobs, the idea of such a plant is already causing controversy throughout the state.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued a conditional approval of an application for a liquefied natural gas facility and pipeline in Sparrow’s Point, Md. The move not only could create several Maryland construction jobs, but also some other permanent jobs at the plant. However, the state’s government feels the plant will only cause trouble.

Governor Martin O’Malley issued a press release stating that the construction of the plant could have catastrophic security and environmental implications for the entire state, including potentially severe impacts to the Chesepeake Bay area and the fishermen and boaters who use it.

“This plant represents a significant potential terrorist target, a sentiment echoed by homeland security experts, the Government Accountability Office, scientists and engineers familiar with the risks associated with the proposal, and other public officials, including our own Senator Barbara Mikulski, a member of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee,” O’Malley said in the press release.

“This decision flies in the face of every tenet of environmental justice,” he continued. “I am disappointed that the FERC decided that rather than ensuring the planners’ ability to mitigate the risks of the project, they chose instead to ignore them and rubber stamp the proposal before the panel.”

So although the plant’s construction would create new jobs in Maryland, those in power are wondering at what cost. O’Malley and other members of Maryland’s government have since vowed to do everything in their power to stop the construction of the plant, including encouraging community activists to amp up their efforts.

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