Category Archives: Citizen Activism

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

WV Legislature Considers Bill to Condemn ACP Opponents

In mid-January we reported on the Charleston Gazette-Mail article about energy lobbyist, Bob Orndorff, state policy director for Dominion Energy, who, when speaking to 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” are getting in the way. “It’s on hold because the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a rogue environmental group to contest various permits that we have on the project.” The Gazette-Mail said, “Orndorff 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 asks, “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.”

Now a resolution condemning the “assaults on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline” from citizen groups has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates. House Resolution 11, introduced February 6 and just recently made public, is co-sponsored by 49-members of the 100-member House, including the Speaker.

That January 11 Gazette-Mail 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.”

It was amazing in January that the legislature would think condemning opposition to Dominion was a valid legislative action, and it is just as amazing a month later.

The Moral Call for Ecological Justice in Buckingham


Tuesday February 19, 2019, 6:00-8:00 pm, Buckingham Middle School, 1184 High School Road, Buckingham, VA 23921.

If unable to attend in person please join in via the links below: 
 
The event will be livestreamed here on the Repairers of the Breach Facebook page:
 
For those who want to watch online but not on Facebook, it will also be livestreamed on this page: https://livestream.com/accounts/5188266/events/8566311
 

Join Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and former Vice President Al Gore for a program on “The Moral Call for Ecological Justice in Buckingham.” The public is invited to this free evening event, where Buckingham residents and other Virginians will share stories of the impacts of environmental injustice, and scientific experts will discuss the health threats and ecological devastation of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline and compressor station. As we celebrate Black History Month, we recognize how poverty, racism and ecological concerns are connected, and that we cannot address just one without addressing the others.

The event is FREE, but please REGISTER HERE so organizers can plan appropriately.

Questions?  Contact info@friendsofbuckinghamva.org

Rev. Dr. Barber is President of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Former Vice President Gore is the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit devoted to solving the climate crisis.

Environmental Groups Request Congressional Hearing on FERC

On January 29, 2019, over 180 environmental organizations, including Friends of Nelson, wrote a letter to members of Congress requesting a congressional hearing into the approval process for interstate gas pipelines. The letter argued that the Federal Energy Regulator Commission (FERC) approves nearly all proposed pipelines, abuses its eminent domain authority, relies on erroneous data when evaluating whether to allow pipeline companies to begin construction. In requesting a congressional hearing, the letter lists many of the misuses of FERC’s Natural Gas Act (NGA) authority:

  • Allowing premature use of the legal construct of eminent domain to seize property rights, even before a pipeline project has met all legal obligations, thereby allowing the taking of private property for a pipeline that may never be constructed (which has in fact happened – once taken, the property rights do not return even if approvals for a pipeline are subsequently denied);
  • Stripping people of their legal and due process rights to challenge FERC approval of natural gas pipelines and infrastructure before the power of eminent domain is used to seize their property rights, and construction is allowed to proceed, thereby inflicting irreparable harm on communities and the environment;
  • Undermining the legal authority of states to determine whether natural gas pipelines and infrastructure would violate state water quality standards and should be approved, denied or modified prior to construction;
  • Undermining the authority of other federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to determine if the project would comply with federal law under their jurisdiction and therefore should be approved, denied or modified before FERC approval is granted and construction started;
  • Advancing pipeline projects based on demonstrably false and misleading facts, claims and “data”; i.e., FERC approval is granted despite demonstrated proof (such as legitimate scientific data, photographs, agency documentation, and factual proof) that information provided by the pipeline company, key to its proposal, is false, misleading and/or intentionally not provided;
  • Advancing pipeline projects without genuine demonstration of need, instead allowing companies to claim “need” simply by producing contracts with affiliates of the pipeline company itself and/or asserting the project is needed in order to enhance a company’s private profits or competitive edge;
  • Allowing third party contractors with demonstrated conflicts of interest and an obvious vested interest in the outcome to lead review of the proposed project. This includes contractors who are working for the company at issue on other or related projects, and/or those working for the pipeline companies on directly related projects that will be affected by the actions and recommendations of the contractor; and
  • Allowing FERC employees and Commissioners with demonstrated conflicts of interest, including financial, to work on project review and decision making for proposed pipeline projects.

Read the full letter here.