BALTIMORE, Nov. 3 (UPI) — Activists protesting against Bank of America at the Monday Night Football game said they were frustrated with the bank’s support of an liquefied natural gas export terminal.
Activists with a group calling itself We Are Cover Point rappelled from the rafters of Bank of America Stadium in Baltimore and unfurled a banner during the nationally televised Monday Night Football game, protesting the bank’s support for a planned liquefied natural gas terminal in Cove Point, Maryland.
“Bank of America is financing the Cove Point LNG plant, and the surrounding community in southern Maryland is forced to bear the human cost,” activist Rica Madrid said in a statement. “This is unacceptable.”
The Department of Energy in 2013 approved an application from Dominion Cove Point to send around 770 million cubic feet of LNG per day to countries that don’t have a free-trade agreement with the United States. It already had consent to deliver 1 billion cubic feet per day to countries with a free trade deal.
Last year, environmental advocacy groups As You Sow, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Earthjustice and Trillium Asset Management filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying Dominion “potentially” lacked a sufficient environmental risk assessment and downplayed the company’s ability to “generate stable and consistent cash flow.”
Maryland activists, for their part, point to research from Bank of America itself saying investing in U.S. facilities slated for LNG exports is not a good bet.
Supporters of LNG exports say it would provide a source of economic stimulus and increase U.S. leverage overseas. A federal U.S. study found the “effects on overall economic growth [from the emerging LNG market] were positive but modest.”
For U.S. allies in Europe, the abundance of natural gas from domestic shale basins could be used as a tool to break the Russian grip on the European economy. Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for energy, said earlier this year LNG may present a source of diversity with the right infrastructure in place.
The Maryland activists counter that LNG exports could lead to more hydraulic fracturing, a controversial practice known also as fracking. According to them, it could make Maryland the fourth-largest climate polluter in the nation.
There was no statement from the National Football League, Bank of America or Dominion Cove Point on the Maryland protest.