HANCOCK, Md. (WJZ) — 62 Maryland lawmakers have signed on to an open letter opposing an effort by Columbia Gas Transmission to build a three-and-a-half mile long fracked-gas pipeline under public lands in the western part of the state.
The company, owned by Alberta-based TC Energy, filed a federal lawsuit against the state last month to gain access to state property to drill a pipeline under the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The state’s attorney general has moved to dismiss the suit, saying the Constitution does not allow a federal court to order a state to grant an easement in cases like this.
In the letter, the lawmakers called Columbia Gas’s lawsuit, “an affront to the democratic processes that have denied them access to this land.”
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In January, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted unanimously against granting the company an easement to build the pipeline, which would transport fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to a proposed factory in West Virginia.
A number of environmental groups have also voiced their opposition to the pipeline.
TC Energy released a statement to WJZ Tuesday afternoon, saying:
“The legal action is not a direction in which we prefer to proceed. As a company, we are proud of our commitment to working collaboratively with landowners and delivering the project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. In fact, we have successfully reached agreements with all private landowners along the project route in Maryland and West Virginia and have received necessary approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the Maryland Department of Environmental Protection.”