Md. Comptroller says Eastern Shore pipeline will serve as “bridge over troubled waters”
MARYLAND – The Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously voted to approve an extension of the Eastern Shore natural gas pipeline to Somerset County. State Comptroller Peter Franchot says environmental activists shouldn’t worry too much. “It’s a bridge over troubled waters because Somerset has been left behind unfairly. We need to rectify that by allowing this. If anything, it just produced a stronger commitment to renewable energy,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Franchot tells 47ABC he understands the concerns over the effects the pipeline could bring to the environment. But in this case, Somerset’s lack of access to natural gas and the economic opportunity that comes with it won out. “It’s a matter of not just the environmental justice – there’s an issue of economic justice for families and citizens of the lower shore – specifically in Somerset County – who, unlike the rest of the state, have not had access,” said Comptroller Franchot.
The Comptroller says he believes approving the pipeline could actually pave the way for Maryland to make a transition to renewable energy. “We know this is happening. This is a transition move here. We have some special circumstances. Overall, is the state going to accelerate its move towards renewables? Yes,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Comptroller Franchot says by catching Somerset County up to the rest of the state, while also working to bring renewable energy, will solve a couple of problems at once. “This particular issue was something that we needed to address in one of the poorest counties in the state of Maryland. It’s one with a very large minority population, and they have been left out,” said Comptroller Franchot.