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Opinion: Bd. of Public Works Should Reject Controversial Pipeline Proposals

Op-Ed by Susan Olsen, Our Maryland, Mike Pretl Fellow
Original Post from Maryland Matters on 11/30/2020

The Del-Mar Pipeline and Chesapeake Utilities Project Pipeline proposals for the Eastern Shore have been getting a great deal of attention lately — and rightly so.

Building fracked gas pipelines on the Eastern Shore would be detrimental to the communities involved. These two pipelines will only make low-income Eastern Shore communities even more reliant on outdated and harmful energy sources. They threaten 1,239 square feet of streams and more than 16,000 square feet of wetlands on the Eastern Shore. Gas pipelines can cause disastrous impacts on the environment and devastating explosions.

Citing climate, environmental, and social justice impacts, many groups oppose fracked gas pipeline expansion on the Eastern Shore, including Wicomico Environmental Trust, NAACP branches, Food & Water Watch, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Sierra Club….

Susan Olsen is an environmental and progressive activist and writer based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Before retiring, Susan was an English teacher and reading specialist at the largest state prison in Maryland, Eastern Correctional Institution (ECI). She became interested in reading difficulties and disabilities such as dyslexia and worked with Adult Basic Education (ABE) students. In the past several years, Susan has written op-eds on various issues including the environment, peace and gun violence. Susan has been an active member of political groups such as Indivisible and local Democratic clubs and currently chairs the Maryland Sierra Club’s Lower Eastern Shore Group. Her interest in environmental issues and Democratic party politics led to her friendship with Mike Pretl. Mike Pretl was a respected state progressive leader and nonprofit lawyer, including on health, environmental and gun safety issues. Mike helped to start Our Maryland and served as an original Board member and guiding light. After his tragic passing in December of 2018, the Our Maryland Board established the Mike Pretl Fellowship to honor his memory, service and friendship.