Category Archives: Citizen Activism

West Virginia House Votes to Condemn Opponents of the ACP

In early January 2019, energy lobbyist, Bob Orndorff, state policy director for Dominion Energy, speaking to the WV legislature’s Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development on behalf of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, said construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been halted because “rogue environmental groups” were getting in the way. He urged lawmakers to “stand up to these rogue environmental groups” and pass a resolution to condemn them.

In an editorial on January 11, the Gazette-Mail asked, “Who are the real rogues?” The editorial says, “In reality, Dominion Energy has halted construction after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found environmental regulatory groups were bypassing rules meant to protect people, wildlife and the environment in the path of such large-scale projects. No doubt Dominion will continue to pursue the Atlantic Coast Pipeline once these legal hurdles are cleared, but for representatives of the industry to blame ‘rogue’ environmentalists is dishonest and simply wrong.” The editorial concluded, “The suggestion to the Legislature offered up by lobbyist Bob Orndorff that the body pass a resolution condemning the environmental groups pursuing litigation is insulting. These groups trying to protect their rights are made up of actual West Virginians who want to preserve what they have and avoid being steamrolled by big industry. Their government should be watching out for them, but it’s not, so the only way to stand up for themselves is through the courts. Remember it’s the people who are the David in this scenario, not the Goliath.”

Despite the editorial, a resolution condemning the “assaults on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline” (ACP) from citizen groups was approved by the Rules Committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates on March 6, 2019. On March 7, the House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved House Resolution 11 by a 80-17 vote (3 members did not vote). All Republican members voting supported the measure, plus 21 of the 40 Democrats in the House. (The resolution as introduced is available here.) An identical resolution was introduced in the West Virginia Senate in mid-February. Senate Resolution 42 is pending before the Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining, which to date has taken no action on the measure.

It is amazing that the West Virginia legislature continues to think it is a valid legislative action to condemn the many citizens who, for a wide variety of reasons based on a wide variety of reliable data, continue to oppose Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

NO PIPELINE One Day Workshop


Where We Stand in Our Fight Against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Saturday, April 13th, Spruce Creek Camp, Nellysford VA

Join us in Nelson County for a one day workshop to learn about our recent successes and upcoming challenges. The workshop on April 13, 2019, will start at 9am and end at 6pm. The workshop’s focus is to bring citizens up to speed on the current state of the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and to further inform and educate them on specific pipeline issues. Besides the list of speakers and topics (below), we will have guided tours nearby of the proposed route, exercises on how to protest safely, and a group discussion on the path forward for those opposed to this 7.8 billion dollar boondoggle project.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch and a camp chair to sit in.  Box lunches available with advance order – see registration form.  Water, comfort station and a first aid tent with emergency phone service will also be available.

The event will take place on Jill and Richard Averitt’s property where the pipeline is proposed to cross. The location is south of Nellysford, VA across from Bold Rock Cider. The event is free – however, we ask all participants to

PRE-REGISTER by clicking here

.Further Questions? Please email us at sprucecreekgathering@gmail.com

If there is inclement weather, we will have an alternate indoor site available.

Speakers and their topics:

  • Richard Averitt – Eminent Domain and how ‘Quick Take’ violates due process and should be ruled unconstitutional
  • William Limpert – How outside, long term storage of gas pipes deteriorates the coatings and increases the risk of failure
  • Lakshmi Fjord – The proposed Compressor Station in Buckingham County and the plight of the Union Hill Community
  • Rick Cornelius – The Legal Case against the Pipeline and where it stands today
  • Jennifer Lewis – Augusta County’s water supply is at risk due to its Karst topography and the pipeline route’s proximity to the Staunton Reservoir.
  • Tom Hadwin – Why the ACP is not needed, particularly in the Hampton Roads area.

Please PRE-REGISTER here

Pipeline Air Force Drone Meet-up


Saturday, March 30th
, the Pipeline Air Force will be having its first UAV (drone) meet-up of 2019, and you are invited!

They will be meeting to share skills, knowledge, experience, and ideas regarding UAV technology all day from 10am-4pm in the Rockfish Valley Community Center, in Nelson County, VA. They will be focusing on how to plug your skills and experience as a remote pilot into our Pipeline CSI program to defend our quality of life and water quality in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains of Appalachia, but the skills and lessons to be shared are applicable to many use-cases involving drones.

Please fill out this RSVP form by Saturday 3/23 if you intend to joining them: https://goo.gl/forms/S7Roh9Y3uvGYQpa93

Space is limited to the first 25 folks who register; lunch will be provided for those who RSVP.

Registration priority will be given to those who are most serious about joining the program and those who already have their Part 107 license.

The Pipeline CSI has been developing our systems and methodology for aerial photos review of missions taken by our volunteer manned aircraft over the past 6 months. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is currently on an indefinite work stoppage until at least September due to their loss of multiple key federal permits. We want to make the most of this reprieve of work by sharing skills, putting our heads together, and getting organized.

Come learn how to execute and share flight plans for imagery product creation like orthomosaics and 3D models. See how professionals and volunteers are creating a new way to monitor development of huge construction projects. Meet other remote pilots, technologists, and discover how you can give back to the community at large as a volunteer drone monitor for the Pipeline CSI!

When: Saturday, March 30th, 10am-4pm
Where: Rockfish Valley Community Center, 190 Rockfish School Ln, Afton, VA 22920
What to bring (optional but recommended): your drone, a laptop, and energy, attention, and a good attitude.

Ties That Bind Event


Join other concerned citizens to make fabric braids that will be woven together into a huge #NoPipelines fabric sculpture, “The Ties That Bind.” Come see your work displayed at the Staunton Innovation Hub in May.

Ecoartist and poet Amelia L. Williams is coordinating community and environmental organizations, artists and concerned citizens to create a communally-made work in protest of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Come on March 30, 2019, either 9:30 am or 1:30 pm (two different locations in Nelson County – details of locations after free registration) to join in making long fabric braids, adding decorative elements, and words of protest, hope, and support. You are invited to bring fabric that comes from your life, tells a story, or is linked to your pipeline resistance.

Fabric strips and all necessary materials will be provided, but your braid may be more special if you bring your own strips at least 4 feet long or enough pieces to knot together to make three 4-5 ft strips. Tell your story to be added to the exhibit:

  • I love winter on the farm; this old scarf has seen me through some cold ones. May it help protect our land from the pipeline.
  • I live in a city. The pipeline won’t be in my backyard, but I have learned how pipelines leak methane and make climate change worse, so I brought 3 green fabrics to show my care for the earth.
  • I hike in the National Forest and don’t want the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail. I brought some old jeans and t-shirts I used to wear hiking.
  • This is my son’s childhood twin bed set. The compressor station could affect children’s health and increase rates of asthma so I want to protect the children.
  • I’m braiding old shirts and leaving the pockets accessible with “no pipelines” messages tucked inside.

Register here. Exact address will be sent by email to free ticket holders.

Breaking Through News – Series on Buckingham Meeting

Around a thousand people gathered at Buckingham Middle School on February 19, 2019, for A Moral Call for Ecological Justice, which included as keynote speakers former Vice President Al Gore, and Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Breaking Through News reporter Elaine Rackley was at the rally and has prepared a series of stories about the environmental justice event.

Rackley’s first story:

Part two in Breaking Through News Reporter Elaine Rackley’s series on the recent Moral Call to Ecological Justice rally in Buckingham County:

NO PIPELINE One Day Workshop


Where We Stand in Our Fight Against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Saturday April 13th, Spruce Creek Camp, Nellysford VA

Join us in Nelson County this spring for a one day workshop to learn about our recent successes and upcoming challenges. The day long workshop on April 13, 2019, will start at 9am and end at 6pm. We will have expert speakers, nearby guided tours of the proposed pipeline route and exercises and instructions on how to protest safely. The workshop will be free of charge. Donations are always appreciated. The ACP is proposed to go through the property where the workshop will be held, destroying beautiful

Spruce Creek and cutting through the heart of Nelson County’s valuable tourist venues.

Spruce Creek Camp is located off of HWY 151 across from Bold Rock Cider. You will see a large no pipeline sign at the intersection of 151 and Horizon’s Village Road. Follow the signs from there. To reduce costs, please bring your own packed lunch and a camp chair to sit on. If desired, boxed lunches will be available for sale in advance. An email reminder will be sent and you can register for a box lunch at that point in time. Water, comfort station and a first aid tent with emergency phone service will also be available.

Further Questions? Please email us at sprucecreekgathering@gmail.com

*If there is inclement weather, we will have an alternate indoor site available