Save the Date for Hands Across Our Land on August 18th

save the date haol

Save the date for Hands Across Our Land, which will be held on August 18th, 2016.  Locations and details are still being finalized, but you can mark the date on your calendar and stay up to date about the event by visiting Hands Across Our Land’s Web site and Facebook page.  This was an exciting, fun, and powerful event last year, so plan to join us again this year and join hands to protect our land, water, and forests from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, coal ash contamination, and the many other fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Virginia and across the country.  Together, we stand in solidarity to oppose environmental injustice in our local community and beyond.

Staunton Water Quality Monitor Training

staunton water quality training

If you missed the water quality monitor training in Nelson County this month and would like to help out with this project, you have a second chance to receive training in Staunton on August 13th.

Wild Virginia will be hosting another water quality monitor training class to help you protect your national forests from pipelines and fracking by becoming a citizen science water quality monitor.

Learn how to properly conduct water quality monitoring on streams in Virginia. Trout Unlimited (TU) will teach you how to conduct chemical monitoring on water samples, measure stream flow, test water temperatures and turbidity and conduct visual assessments.  Priority streams have been identified, throughout and near the national forest.

No prior experience necessary, but a serious commitment to ongoing monitoring once per month is expected.

To register for the training on Wild Virginia’s Web site, click here.

March on the Mansion

march on the mansion

More than 600 people traveled to Richmond yesterday to march to the Governor’s mansion for clean energy and climate justice.  From Nelson County and across Virginia, citizens gathered in the capitol and rallied, marched, and chanted for love of their homes, land, and water, for Virginia, for their children, for the Governor’s accountability, and for their futures.  It was truly a powerful and transformative day in social and environmental justice history.

You can read more about the March on the Mansion at the many news organizations that have covered the story of the march:  the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington Post, The Virginian-Pilot, The Washington Times, NBC 29, NBC 12, ABC 8, the Charlottesville Newsplex, and Blue Virginia.  You can view many photos and videos of the march on Friends of Nelson’s Facebook page, March on the Mansion’s Facebook event page, Free Nelson’s Facebook page, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s Facebook page.  You can also read March on the Mansion’s press release, which presents an overview of the events of the day, the reasons for the march, and a nice selection of quotations from the people who spoke at the rally on Brown’s Island before the march.

A Bridge Too Far: How Appalachian Basin Gas Pipeline Expansion Will Undermine U.S. Climate Goals

A new report by Oil Change International and a number of other environmental groups (including the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Appalachian Voices, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the Sierra Club, among others) shows that current projections for U.S. natural gas production–fueled by a boom in the Appalachian Basin–will lock in enough carbon to surpass target climate goals.  The report urges that the many proposed new natural gas pipelines for our region are incompatible with Paris target and existing U.S. climate goals and will lock in unsustainable levels of natural gas production at a time when the nation needs to transition to available clean energy technologies.

There are currently 19 proposed natural gas pipeline projects (new and expansion) in the Appalachian basin, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  If built, the methane emissions and climate impact of the pipelines will far exceed the climate goals to which the U.S. has agreed.  The report urges that stopping these fossil fuel infrastructure projects and transitioning to renewable energy is imperative for the U.S. to meet its climate goals.  Furthermore, the report argues that government agencies, such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), should apply a climate test (including Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements) to all new energy projects, and that only projects that are able to pass this climate test should gain approval for construction.

To read the report in full, visit Oil Change International’s Web site and download a PDF file of the report.  You can also read news articles about the report at Reuters and Common Dreams.

Join Us in Richmond Tomorrow for the March on the Mansion

march-on-the-mansion-collageTomorrow, July 23rd, concerned citizens from across the state will converge on Richmond to demand that Governor McAuliffe stand with Virginians and start protecting our climate, water, and land instead of the interests of corporate polluters.  We need solar panels, not pipelines. We need clean water, not coal ash. We need real democracy, not polluter politics.

Environmental activists Bill McKibben and Mark Ruffalo have put out calls for action for this event:  will you be there?  If you’re taking the bus or plan to drive to Richmond, you can find out everything you need to know about getting to the event on March on the Mansion’s Transportation and Parking page.  They have provided a detailed list of bus meeting times and locations, as well as city parking garages for those who will be driving to Richmond.

It’s going to be hot tomorrow, so March on the Mansion will be providing shade tents, water, ice, and mister bottles–plus cooling spots along the march route.  St. Paul’s church at 815 E Grace St. (across from the Capitol) will be open from 12 noon – 4 p.m. for marchers as a cooling spot with AC and restrooms.  Make sure that you bring everything that you need to stay cool and stay energized for the march:  plenty of water, sunscreen, a sun hat, and snacks.

Throughout the day, you can post and share updates, photos, and video on social media using March on the Mansion’s hashtag: #ReachTerry.

For more information about the march, including an agenda and schedule for the rally and march, visit March on the Mansion’s full Web site.

Why Should YOU March on the Mansion?

March-on-mansionGovernor McAuliffe continues to endorse the Atlantic Coast and the Mountain Valley Pipelines. He continues in his indifference to actual information and analysis on the projected community costs, environmental costs, personal costs to property owners on the route – not to mention the truth about the paltry number of permanent jobs the pipelines would bring. He has not even been courteous enough to respond to requests for a Citizen’s Advisory Panel to study and make recommendations on state regulatory review of the ACP and MVP proposals. He has ignored repeated requests to come and meet with citizens along the pipeline routes. He even issued a gag order to state agencies to try and prevent them from speaking to the public directly about pipelines.

Since the Governor refuses to come to us and refuses to talk to us, we’ll go to him!

Join friends and neighbors from across Virginia for the March on the Mansion, July 23, 2016, in Richmond. Take the free bus from one of many locations – sign up now to get a place on the bus. Add your voice and your presence! It’s important!

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Dominion’s Pipeline Threatens Protected Private Land

DPMC-story-map-easementsDominion has asked the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to give up stewardship on 10 conservation easements to make way for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion has gone too far with this unprecedented request.

Get the full story on Dominion’s proposed easement exchange from the newest publication in the ACP Story Map series.

Link to the the new ACP Story Map here, and visit the DPMC Story Map Facebook Page to learn when new Story Maps are published and to share Story Maps with others.

Using Electricity Customers to Pay for Pipelines

A new post on Power for the People VA by Ivy Main discusses how southeastern electric utilities find their way to higher profits through gas pipelines and captive consumers.

Dominion Resources is one of the companies that has adopted a growth strategy reliant on large volumes of fracked gas. For Dominion and other southeastern utilities, rate of return is only part of the attraction. “In a strategy that ought to concern regulators and electricity consumers, Duke, Dominion and NextEra all plan to use their regulated electric power subsidiaries to guarantee demand for the pipelines they’re building. The subsidiaries will build natural gas generating plants, paid for by electricity consumers, to be supplied with gas carried through the pipelines owned by their sister companies.”

BUT (the article points out), “So many pipelines are in development that analysts say there simply isn’t enough gas to fill them all. At the 2016 Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference in February, attendees were warned that pipeline capacity ‘will be largely overbuilt by the 2016-2017 timeframe.’ ”

Further, “Linking pipelines to captive customers should prove a profitable arrangement for the utilities. For the customers who bear the costs and risks, it’s much more problematic. But state law gives them no say in the matter. In these southern states, the electric power subsidiaries hold legal monopolies in their designated territories. Once federal regulators approve the pipelines and state regulators approve the gas plants, the captive customers bear the loss if the bet turns sour.”

Read the full article here.