Sierra Vows to Block Dominion’s LNG Exports From Cove Point

Sierra Club will seek to block Dominion Resources Inc.’s export of liquefied natural gas at Maryland’s Cove Point terminal, the executive director said, as the company signed deals for shippers to use the plant.

The environmental organization said Dominion’s gas plan would encourage hydraulic fracturing, a process the group said harms natural resources and people. It would also raise gas and electricity prices, and damage ecologically sensitive lands, the group said today in an e-mailed statement.

Sierra Club sued to block construction of the terminal in the 1970s, and settled the case in return for gaining the right to approve plans for expansion. The group said today it won’t grant such permission.

“Sierra Club cannot and will not support LNG exports from Cove Point,” Michael Brune, executive director of the San Francisco-based group, said on a conference call. “If Dominion still seeks to move forward, we will insist that they stand by the agreement they have made with us.”

Dominion is confident it will be able to build and operate a liquefaction plant at Cove Point, Chief Executive Officer Tom Farrell said today in an e-mailed statement.

Dominion, based in Richmond, Virginia, rose the most in four months after announcing binding agreements with Sumitomo Corp. and an unidentified shipper to handle all the capacity at the terminal.

Dominion rose 35 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $51.59 at 12:42 p.m. in New York, and earlier today climbed the most since Dec. 20.

The U.S. Energy Department hasn’t acted on the company’s application to export one billion cubic feet of gas a day to any nation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must also approve the facility.

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