This article discusses the shipment of natural gas across the world from tiny Cove Point on the Chesapeake, but at what cost?
In a quiet pocket of Southern Maryland where beach bungalows line dirt roads to the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s booming natural gas industry has established an unlikely multibillion-dollar foothold.
For a year now, natural gas pulled from ancient shale formations deep below the surface of Pennsylvania and other states has been piped across Maryland to a new $4.4 billion gas export terminal in the woods beyond Cove Point Beach in Calvert County.
From there, the gas is cooled through a complex industrial process to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, which liquefies it and makes it easier to transport. It is then piped through a tunnel to a platform a mile offshore and loaded onto massive tankers for shipment overseas — to Japan and India, the Middle East and Europe, and countries across Central and South America.
Lea Callahan says the increase in tanker ships in the waters beyond her beachfront home, about 65 miles south of Baltimore, has been shocking.