Join the FERC Phone Blockade

Environmental Action is organizing a phone blockade this week in conjunction with Beyond Extreme Energy‘s nonviolent protests at FERC headquarters in Washington, D.C.  If you’ve been wishing for a way to participate but can’t make it to D.C., the phone blockade is a great way to show solidarity with the protestors and let FERC know your concerns about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  You can participate through Friday, May 29th, and all of the information that you need to participate can be found at Environmental Action’s Phone Blockade at the FERC-us page.

Won’t Pipe Down Screenings in Charlottesville, May 25th

wont-pipe-down-poster-cville

If you haven’t yet seen Won’t Pipe Down, the documentary created by a group of JMU students about Virginia’s fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, there will be two more screenings tomorrow, May 25th, in Charlottesville, at the EcoVillage.  The screenings are free, but you need to sign up to reserve a seat.  To reserve a ticket, select a time to sign up through Eventbrite: 5:00–6:30 PM or 7:30–9:00 PM.

Take Action Now for Construction Standards That Protect the Public!

Please write to Governor McAuliffe today to ask him to help the public and interested agencies protect water quality if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is constructed by increasing transparency for plans for and construction of the ACP.  Dominion is known to violate erosion and sediment control laws, yet they are in charge of monitoring their own compliance to stormwater and erosion and sedimentation control in Virginia for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Not only will the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) not review or monitor compliance of Dominion’s site specific plans, due to lack of resources, but also interested individuals, local governments, and groups will not have access to these plans for review and comment UNLESS YOU HELP FORCE THEM TO TURN THEM OVER.  The Recorder has written a in-depth article about these issues surrounding water quality and the ACP, and it is very clear from this article that the fox is watching the hen house for this extremely critical aspect of pipeline construction.

Please write to Governor McAuliffe today about this important issue of monitoring water quality during plans for and construction of the ACP.  To download a letter that you can send to the Governor (all you have to do is sign and print your name and address), click here for a PDF file.  To download the letter as a Word file that you can edit before printing, click here.  If you don’t have time to mail a letter to Governor McAuliffe, you can copy and paste the text of our pre-written letter and send him an email instead via his online email form.  Please also make sure to email a copy of the letter to the Secretary of Natural Resources, Molly Ward (molly.ward@governor.virginia.gov).

Please send this letter today and ask your friends to do the same.  We need your help to hold Dominion accountable and to ensure that our water quality is protected now and for the future.

Thanks to Rick Webb, of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, for bringing this important issue to our attention!

FERC Does Not Work

BE THE CHANGE at FERC May 21 – May 29

Do you realize how dismal FERC’s record of protecting the public interest is?  Recent FERC approvals (despite resounding public and scientific outcry) include a large-diameter, high-pressure fracked gas pipeline next to a nuclear reactor; a fracked gas pipeline through a rock-blasting quarry; and fracked gas and liquid petroleum storage facilities in highly unstable, underground caverns next to a lake in rural New York’s wine and tourism rich “Sonoma Valley.”  FERC also delayed ruling on citizen appeals for months, sabotaging the safe guard appeals process while allowing construction to proceed on the Cove Point export terminal.  Rather than functioning as a regulatory agency, FERC is a “revolving door” for oil and gas industry executives.  No surprise that FERC would be more than lenient, then, in their regulatory duties.

We must use FERC’s record of failures to avoid the same fate of the many communities whose cases have preceded us.  Public awareness is mounting, raising the pressure on FERC, our U. S. Congress, and the Courts for better outcomes.

Are you ready to help get the word out that FERC DOESN’T WORK?

Please consider signing up to participate (for just a day or even longer, if possible!) in the non-violent week of actions Beyond Extreme Energy has organized at FERC in Washington DC this week.  For more information and to sign up go to BeyondExtremeEnergy.org

We’ve made it easy for you to get there on Wednesday, May 27th!  Hop on the chartered bus from Staunton or Charlottesville.  Deadline to buy a ticket is this Monday, May 25th at midnight.  Buy a ticket here.

We can’t let oil and gas industry propaganda carry the day. At a time when FERC needs serious reining in if public interests and our climate are to be protected, the oil and gas industry is lobbying Congress to increase FERC’s singular authority, allow fast-track permitting, increase exports, and mandate pipeline corridors in federal lands, including National Parks!   As Greg Buppert of Southern Environmental Law Center pointed out in his testimony before the subcommittee hearing this bill on Wednesday, more pipelines in federal lands would have significant effects on the private property in surrounding communities.

ACT NOW!

Please write a letter to address some of these national concerns and send a copy to your congressional representative (send us a copy, too, at friendsofnelson@gmail.com).

To comment on gas and oil propaganda, how FERC doesn’t work, or why it would be a disaster to increase FERC’s authority, or fast-track pipeline or export approvals, send a letter in the mail to the Energy and Commerce committee at the address found here.

To comment on why the “National Energy Security Corridors Act” that would mandate pipeline corridors through federal land is a bad idea, send an email to the Committee on Natural Resources.

Too busy to create your own rant?  No problem! Just DOWNLOAD, SIGN AND MAIL OUR READY MADE LETTERS HERE pushing for a more just process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If we don’t make our demands clear to the “authorities,” we can’t complain later that none of them paid attention.

Reminder: Celebrate Rockfish Raffle Will Be Held on May 30th

Revised 2015 cash raffle flyerHave you bought a raffle ticket for RVCC’s Celebrate Rockfish event?  A portion of the proceeds from this raffle will help fund the pipeline impact study that Friends of Nelson has commissioned.  Tickets are $50, and you could win up to $5000 if you have the winning ticket.  Tickets are available at the RVCC office, the Treasure Chest Thrift Store, and online at rockfishcc.org.  For more information about the raffle and the event, click here.

Volunteers Needed: Help Key-Log Economics Review and Summarize Atlantic Coast Pipeline Comments from the Comfort of Your Own Home

Key-Log Economics is conducting a review of scoping period comments for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and they need volunteers to help them get this project completed quickly.  Volunteers will review a small sampling of comments (about three) and fill out a form about their content: the comments and form will be emailed to you after you sign up to volunteer for the project, so you can help with this important project from the comfort of your own home.  This project is essential to provide accurate information to FERC about the impacts to Nelson, Augusta, Highland, and Buckingham AND to hold them accountable down the road if they fail to adequately address concerns in the upcoming regulatory document, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  For more information about this citizen science project and to sign up to volunteer, please click here.  Please consider helping with this project–no special expertise is needed, and you can help from home!  The more people who sign up to help, the faster Key-Log Economics will be able to review the 8,000 scoping period comments and ensure that FERC addresses your concerns about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Dominion Files Resource Reports

Dominion Filed its Draft Resource Reports 1-12 on May 19, 2015 – all 5400 pages. Click here to see the reports. This Staunton New-Leader article discusses a few highlights.

As for the overwhelming support Dominion touted in their report filed last week, the New-Leader article notes:

“Overwhelming project support?

Dominion filed its responses with a letter of endorsement from Consumer Energy Alliance, a non-governmental agency whose members include 90 energy providers and suppliers, including Dominion.

Close to 22,000 of the comments received by FERC came from signers of a CEA petition.

On that basis, Dominion prefaced its responses with a table showing overwhelming support for the pipeline.

A FERC spokesperson said such petitions are common on big energy projects, but dismissed their importance to FERC’s evaluation and approval of the project.

‘This isn’t American Idol,’ she said.”

Dominion Map Updates

Dominion-route-map-18may2015Dominion has updated their online, interactive map. To see what is shown above, go to
http://dom.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=ce2477c937f044dcb4d7f4617ebccb2c and then click the options in the “layers” button in the legend and zoom in to the Nelson region. You can zoom in closer and also see parcel boundaries using the online map. Dominion uses the terms “proposed survey corridor,” “alternatives under construction,” and “former routes” in this map — but remember –it’s not over, till it’s over — and that is still a long way away. United vigilance and united effort will carry the day!

Dominion Announces Preferred Route

On May 18, 2015, Dominion announced that the Augusta Industrial Park variation, the Appalachian Trail South alternate, the East of Lovingston Connector alternate and the East of Lovingston alternate — alternates through Augusta and Nelson previously announced on Feb. 27 — are their preferred route at this point. They had said in February when they introduced these variations that they had not yet chosen a “preferred” route. Now they are saying they have chosen a preferred route. Click this link to see a map showing these route sections: https://www.dom.com/library/domcom/pdfs/gas-transmission/atlantic-coast-pipeline/area-maps/acp-abn-sheet-index.pdf

Read the article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch here.

Friends of Nelson has been dedicated since our inception to stopping the pipeline in Nelson County as a whole, not towards fighting a particular route through Nelson. We are also dedicated to helping and supporting our neighboring counties on the route to stop it all together. We believe that any route through Nelson is detrimental to our economy, values, natural resources, and future.

Won’t Pipe Down

wont-pipe-down-poster-cvilleIf you didn’t have the opportunity to see the documentary Won’t Pipe Down at one of the recent showings in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, or at RVCC, you missed a wonderful film, and we hope you’ll have a chance to see it the future. The short documentary presents the definitive David versus Goliath battle between the residents of Nelson County, Virginia, and Dominion Power. This inside look at our community and our fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline raises questions about environmental justice, property rights, and individual rights. Visit their Web page at http://wontpipedown.com/ for more about the film.

What started out as a class project for JMU students Abby Riggleman (the original northern route cuts through her family’s land), Art Pekun, Marley McDonald, and Danny McNew, has morphed into something far bigger and more successful. The first cut of the film won the documentary category at William and Mary’s Global Film Fest and got an Honorable Mention at the Broadcast Education Association’s film festival.

The group is now ready to release the full version of the film, but needs financial help to submit it to film festivals in hopes that a distributor like Netflix of Amazon will pick it up. (Note: distributors and film festivals have requirements for new films that prevent us at this time from posting the film to the Friends of Nelson Web page.) Visit the group’s fundraising page at IndieGoGo to watch the trailer and to contribute. Help these talented and committed students get OUR story out in the world!