Activists Rally Against Governor Hogan’s Fracked-Gas Plans Ahead of MEA Meeting

Groups Slam MEA Process for Public Input on Fracked-Gas Plans as “Broken”

BALTIMORE, MD — Today, dozens of concerned Maryland residents rallied to protest Governor Hogan’s plans to “kick-start” fracked-gas infrastructure in Maryland. The rally took place just before the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) held its fourth and final public meeting on Hogan’s plan to spend $30 million in state funds on expanding fracked-gas infrastructure across the state.

The coalition rallied before going inside to make public comments. They also delivered a letter signed by five advocacy organizations opposing Hogan’s gas plans and a letter of grievances about the MEA process, saying they were “deeply frustrated” with how the process was handled, as well as a petition signed by more than 300 residents urging the administration not to spend state money on new fracked-gas infrastructure.

Patrick Grenter, Associate Director for Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, stated: “Maryland’s own climate change website says that ‘Maryland is among the states most vulnerable to climate change.’ Given this, why would the state move forward with plans to invest millions in gas infrastructure? Marylanders don’t want this frack-fueled plan, which would lock us into decades of fossil fuel infrastructure while we’re in a climate crisis. Any investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure is incompatible with the State’s public commitment to fighting accelerated climate disruption.”

Months after Governor Larry Hogan signed a statewide fracking ban in 2017, he announced his intention to “kick-start” a fracked-gas expansion across Maryland. The Governor has launched his fracked-gas expansion even as scientists confirm that gas is essentially as harmful to the climate as coal. Despite this, he wants to spend $30 million in state money on this new fracked-gas infrastructure.

As part of AltaGas’s acquisition of local gas supplier Washington Gas, Hogan negotiated a settlement wherein AltaGas would place $30 million into the state’s Strategic Energy Investment Fund, which the state would then spend to assist gas companies in the construction of more fracked-gas pipelines all across Maryland. The agreement also opens the door for AltaGas passing $70 million onto ratepayers to do the same.

 “This plan is in direct contrast to one of SEIF’s main missions, which is to ‘address global climate change concerns,’” said Anthony Field, Maryland Grassroots Coordinator at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “Investing in fracked-gas is a bridge to climate disaster. If Hogan truly wanted to address climate change, he would focus on cleaning up our existing leaky pipelines as we move towards clean and sustainable sources of energy such as wind and solar.”

Under the terms of the agreement, “MEA shall use such funds in its discretion for the purpose of promoting the expansion of natural gas infrastructure . . . in Maryland.” Under Senate Bill 52, Hogan’s Maryland Energy Administration is required to develop a plan for spending the $30 million in state funds. In developing this plan, MEA was required to hold at least four separate public meetings across the state by the end of the year. More than 70 concerned Marylanders have turned out to the first three meetings, despite poor notice and planning.

The meetings were inaccessible, poorly advertised, and lacked transparency, environmental organizations argued in a letter delivered to MEA today. The letter continues:

“The process, as it is now, is broken. It seems geared at checking a box rather than giving the public a meaningful opportunity to weigh in and help inform MEA’s future plans. The meetings provided further evidence that this Administration is bent on expanding gas infrastructure, no matter the effect on the climate and no matter what the public wants.”

Annie Bristow of Frack-Free Frostburg stated: “The entire lifecycle of fracked gas must be considered from a public health perspective – from air and water pollution at extraction to end use air pollution in homes and businesses.  Expansion of fracked gas pipelines in Maryland would increase risks to the health and safety of Marylanders, financially incentivize fracking of our neighbors in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and fail to address the public health threat from climate change.”

Ruth Alice White stated: “Extending the use of gas in Maryland is counter to the Maryland’s commitment to move dramatically reduce Maryland Greenhouse gases, totally counter to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act’s purpose.  We can’t be implementing new gas infrastructure designed to last 30 years or more when we are striking desperately to reduce emissions.  We know fracked gas leaks at every stage in extraction and piping.  The gas is methane which is 84 times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas over a 20 year period.  We need to move rapidly to clean and renewable wind and solar.”

Tracy Cannon of the Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition stated: “Citizen and environmental groups in the Eastern Panhandle of WV were thrilled to learn that Maryland’s Board of Public Works blocked the Potomac Pipeline, which would have carried fracked gas to polluting industrial development in our counties.  We find it contradictory that Maryland would now support spending $30 million on fracked-gas infrastructure.  We would like to look to Maryland as an example of what a green state can be.  This is disappointing.”

MEA has made access to these meetings extraordinarily difficult, giving the public very little notice, scheduling them during the workweek, even holding one at a location that required attendees to apply for a parking pass 48 hours in advance. Despite this, more than 70 concerned Marylanders have spoken out against Hogan’s fracked-gas expansion plans in person and more than 300 more have signed a letter in opposition.

Denise Robbins, Communications Director,, 240-630-1889
Anthony Field, Maryland Grassroots Coordinator,, 301-664-4068


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 16 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Statement: Hogan’s Climate Plan Is Late and Incomplete

Climate Plan Announced Two Weeks After MD Advocacy Groups Sent a Letter Calling for its Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Department of Environment released its plan to reduce its legally mandated Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. This comes two weeks after 26 Maryland-based advocacy organizations sent a letter to the agency expressing “deep concern” that they had not yet released the plan nearly ten months after it was due. 

Mike Tidwell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, stated in response: 

“Governor Hogan’s plan to fight climate change is like a homework assignment turned in nearly a year late and with incomplete work. The plan includes insufficient research, inattention to detail, and a failure to follow the assignment. The tardiness of the plan would seem to call into question the Governor’s seriousness in truly tackling the climate crisis. The plan was mandated by the General Assembly to come out in 2018. 

“The substance of the plan only deepens the skepticism. While promises of 100% ‘clean’ electricity sound good, the Governor counts fracked gas as clean energy. He also dramatically underestimates the atmospheric harm that comes from the use of fracked gas. And while pledging to expand the use of electric vehicles and to reduce carbon pollution in other parts of the economy, the Governor’s plan fails to specify exactly how Maryland will invest real resources to achieve real solutions. The Maryland public and the General Assembly should demand better from the Governor.”


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 16 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit 

Denise Robbins, Communications Director,, 608-620-8819
Mike Tidwell, Director,, 240-460-5838

BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Grants Stay in Endangered Species Act Case

Permits are Required Before MVP Can Proceed with Construction

RICHMOND, VA — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has put a hold on two permits that the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) requires to proceed with construction activities. By staying the Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement, the Court’s announcement effectively means construction must stop on the 300-mile project. Coming just hours after news broke that MVP must pay a multi-million dollar fine to the Commonwealth of Virginia, today’s announcement is a result of a request for stay filed by the Sierra Club, on behalf of a coalition of conservation organizations, including Wild Virginia, Appalachian Voices, Preserve Bent Mountain, Defenders of Wildlife, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

“MVP’s dangerous pipeline project has already destroyed and degraded the habitat of endangered species along its route, not to mention the threat it poses to clean air and water. That’s why, time after time, we have said MVP should stop work on this pipeline. Their rushed, shoddy permitting puts the entire project in question. And time after time, the courts have agreed. Maybe now MVP will do the smart thing, and walk away from this disastrous fracked gas pipeline once and for all.”

David Sligh, Conservation Director for Wild Virginia said:

“We applaud the court’s action. This project has already caused great harm to Virginia’s environment and people. It is time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to finally live up to its legal mandates and prohibit any further damage. This project cannot be built as proposed while protecting these rare and sensitive species and should be abandoned now.”

Anne Havemann, General Counsel, Chesapeake Climate Action Network:

“The rush to build this unnecessary and harmful pipeline has polluted drinking water, harmed livelihoods, triggered landslides, and further threatened already endangered species. Given the devastation that construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has left in its wake, the Court was right to stay the permits. MVP should see the writing on the wall and give up on this disastrous project.”


26 Maryland Advocacy Groups Call On Hogan Administration To Release Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

Groups: Nine-Month Delay in Releasing Climate Plan is “Utterly  Unacceptable”

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, 26 Maryland-based advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) expressing “deep concern” that the agency has not yet released its legally mandated Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 — which was passed by super majorities in the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan —  requires MDE to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 2006 levels by 2030, and for MDE to develop this plan by the end of 2018.  

Anne Havemann, General Counsel, CCAN, stated: “Now is the time for leadership, not inaction. We are nearly out of time to deal with the climate crisis, and yet MDE has been sitting on its hands for over nine months with no plan to show for it. Not only do we demand the release of this legally mandated greenhouse gas reduction plan but we also demand that it fully account for the true impact of fracked-gas on Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions. To do otherwise would delegitimize this already delayed plan.”

The letter reiterates that there is “growing urgency and alarm raised by the world’s leading climate scientists” about the climate crisis, and states that the Hogan administration is “wasting what little time we have left” to address climate change. They noted that this delay “does not harmonize with the Administration’s purported commitment to addressing global warming.” Hogan has positioned himself as a climate-friendly governor, announcing his public commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and releasing a plan for 100% “clean” electricity even as he denigrated Maryland’s flagship clean energy law. 

Celia Plante, Co-Chair of the Maryland Legislative Coalition, stated: “As voters and as residents of Maryland, a state that is one of the most heavily affected by climate change in the nation, we recognize that we need to transform from fossil fuels to clean energy as fast as possible.  We cannot accept MDE’s foot-dragging when our children’s futures are literally at stake. If the MDE cannot even produce a plan in a reasonable amount of time, they are not qualified to lead us during this emergency. We need leadership not stall tactics.” The Maryland Legislative Coalition is an alliance of grassroots activist groups from all across the state, including Indivisible, Our Revolution, Progressive Maryland, Together We Will and Huddles.  

Bonnie Raindrop, Legislative Chair of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, stated: “Climate change affects the survival of wild bees, honeybees, nectar and pollen producing plants and pollinators, which cannot adapt quickly enough to earth’s rising temperatures and weather changes. We depend on pollinators for one in three bites of food and are losing 60% of honeybees in Maryland annually and 70% of the worlds flying insects worldwide. This crisis demands swift action on the part of Maryland.” 

 Ruth Alice White, Advocacy Lead of HoCo Climate Action, stated: “Howard Countians are ready for climate action. Howard County youths and adults were among those involved in climate strikes last week, filling the streets, raising banners and calling for action during this time of climate emergency.  Many have taken steps to lower their personal carbon footprints. But for greater changes, we need bold state policies in place. Secretary Grumbles, don’t hold us back.”

The groups also called on MDE to include in this plan “a full accounting of the life-cycle methane pollution related to energy use in Maryland derived from gas.” 

Lois Hybl, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, stated: “When legislation such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act is passed, we count on our government to take the necessary steps to meet the goals of such legislation. The League of Women Voters expects our elected officials and those appointed by them to act in a timely manner.” 

The letter the week after millions of people took part in Global Climate Strikes around the world, calling for swift climate action. The world’s top scientists with the United Nations have released a report showing the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 in order to avert climate catastrophe. 

Denise Robbins, Communications Director,, 608-620-8819
Anne Havemann, General Counsel,, 202-997-2466


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 16 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit 

National Park Service Decision Clears a Hurdle for Potomac Pipeline Construction but Company Still Lacks Access to Complete Route

Environmental Groups Vow to Continue Fight

WASHINGTON, DC — This week, the National Park Service determined that the fracked-gas Potomac Pipeline would have no significant impact on the C&O Canal National Historical Park, despite the clear threat it poses to the region, the Potomac River, and the climate. This decision could clear the way for the pipeline company Columbia Gas to request permission from federal regulators to begin construction on its controversial pipeline, despite not having access to all the land along the route. A federal judge last month threw out a case brought by Columbia attempting to seize through eminent domain a Maryland-owned public park to build its pipeline. Columbia is appealing that decision but the company’s likelihood of success on appeal is highly uncertain.

In response, Anne Havemann, General Counsel, CCAN, stated: 

“Columbia Gas has taken risk after risk with this pipeline, starting with its proposal to run it through unstable terrain under the Potomac River — the source of drinking water for 6 million people. Not to mention the risk of investing in fracked-gas infrastructure at a time when the science and public opinion are clear that we need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels in order to stave off the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Columbia would be taking a further risk if it begins to build this pipeline without access to all the land along the route.

“We urge Columbia to listen to Maryland residents and elected officials and give up on this dangerous pipeline. At the same time, we will continue to pursue all legal avenues to stop the project.”


Patrick Grenter, Senior Campaign Representative in Maryland for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, said:

“Not only has Maryland banned fracking, they have rejected an attempted land grab for this specific fracked gas pipeline. This is a dirty, dangerous project that threatens the health of Maryland’s water, people, and communities and we are going to fight it every step of the way. Columbia Gas should listen to Marylanders and put this zombie pipeline to rest once and for all.”

Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, stated:

“Whether through pressure from the Trump administration or giving in to industry’s ‘it’s safe’ rhetoric, it is a shame that the National Park Service failed to recognize the potential environmental issues with this pipeline.”



Denise Robbins, Communications Director,, 608-620-8819
Anne Havemann, General Counsel,, 202-997-2466

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 16 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit