Category Archives: Citizen Activism

Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain

Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain, September 22, 2019, 1 PM – September 23, 8:30 AM
Bent Mountain, Virginia

During Global Climate Strike Week, September 20-27, millions of people from around the world will join young climate strikers to demand climate justice and an end to the age of fossil fuels. Their message is simple: Our house is on fire – let’s act like it.

On Sunday, September 22 from 1-9 pm, “Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain” will use an arts centered format to bring awareness to what is happening locally in Southwest Virginia to exacerbate the climate emergency and what we can do to stop it.

A second event, “Climate Emergency: Tri-State Pipeline Strike”, will feature a rally in downtown Roanoke at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 23.

These two events will draw particular attention to the threat posed to Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia by the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines and the impact that those fracked methane gas pipelines would have on climate change.

“Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain” will be adjacent to the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and will gather pipeline resisters and newcomers from three states for an incredible program of events that includes workshops (3-4:30), a potluck supper (5 p.m.), a strategic plenary session (6 p.m.) and a powerful two hour concert (7-9 p.m.).  It also will include small group strategy campfires and optional overnight camping.

Advance registration for Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain is required, and entry is from 1 pm to 5:30 pm.  Sign up to participate at Registration Circle of Protection: Bent Mountain.  Media is invited from 1-9 p.m.


Charlottesville Youth Climate Strike

The strike will be from noon to 1pm at the Free Speech Wall downtown on Friday September 20, 2019.

Youth activists will strike to demand transformative action to address the global climate crisis and locally, to stop the harmful Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines and the compressor station in the historic African American community, Union Hill. Rally speakers include Swami Dayananda of the Yogaville Ashram in Buckingham County and a representative from the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition at UVA; additional speakers will be announced soon.

After a short rally, Charlottesville youth will hold a die-in to draw attention to the devastating effect climate change is already having on vulnerable populations and the uncertain future of all youth.

Following the die-in, Charlottesville youth will march on the Downtown Mall. Virginia Student Environmental Coalition at UVA will be rallying on grounds in the morning and marching from UVA to join the youth rally.

Everyone is welcome! Attendees are asked to bring a sign/or tombstone. If possible, adults should wear black.

Building on a historic surge of student protests and strikes for climate action, the September 20 strike comes ahead of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change three days later, when world leaders will convene in New York with the goal of deepening climate ambition. In over 150 countries, people are already pledging to organize events on September 20 and during the Week of Action that follows.

Charlottesville youth, along with partner organizations Virginia Student Environmental Coalition at UVA, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, the Green Grannies, several other members of the Cville100 climate coalition, and Charlottesville Democratic Socialists of America, are leading the strike to demand stark climate action be taken by local, national, and global politicians.

“As Union Hill faces the compressor station and pipeline, we stand with them in protecting our region from harmful and unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure, and highlight the burden upon future generations which will be symbolized by a die-in during the rally,” said strike organizer Gudrun Campbell. “Youth around the world have been striking for months and now we call on you, the adults, to join us.”

Useful Info Sheets from SELC

On August 28, 2019, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed an opposition brief in the US Supreme Court on August 28, 2019, arguing that the Court should not agree to review the Fourth Circuit opinion as requested by the petitioners, US Forest Service and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The Fourth Circuit decision blocked the ACP from coming across Reid’s Gap. (See SELC Files Opposition Brief)

SELC has created two fine handouts to inform people about Dominion’s actions and the ACP:

Print copies and circulate!

Union Hill Residents and Supporters Continue to Fight ACP

The Friends of Buckingham County held a town Hall meeting Saturday in Union Hill. More than 120 people turned out for the event, where residents and their supporters spoke out against Dominion Energy’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a compressor station. The proposed compressor station and the current path of the ACP threatens homeowner’s property, according to residents.

Breaking Through News Reporter Elaine Rackley spoke with members of the Union Hill Community and various Group leaders supporting Buckingham County, including Greg Buppert, a senior attorney with Southern Environmental Law Center,  and journalist Jonathan Sokolow (see below).

New SELC Web Page: The Case Against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

In a press release on September 5, 2019, the Southern Environmental Law Center announced their new Web page that brings together information about the fight against the ACP:

It’s harmful, obsolete, costly, and its future is uncertain.

SELC and our partners have maintained for years that the risky and unnecessary Atlantic Coast Pipeline should not be built. Now you can find the supporting research and legal documentation behind that position all in one place, at

Whether you’re looking for evidence of the proposed project’s irresponsible and harmful route, how all of Dominion and Duke Energy’s customers will have to pay the price, or information on the vulnerable communities that will bear the brunt of this unneeded project, we’ve made it easier than ever to find.

Federal courts have thrown out five of the ACP’s permits in cases argued by SELC. To learn why we’ve been fighting so hard against the pipeline, visit

6th Year of Fight Begins

From the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance ABRA Update #243, September 5, 2019.  Friends of Nelson is an ABRA member.

It was 5 years ago this week – Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell appeared at a press conference in Richmond to announce the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, a partnership of Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. The project, announced as a $5 billion venture, was to be operational by the end of 2018. The ACP was a successor project to a Dominion venture announced in May of that year as the Southeast Reliability Project. The Mountain Valley Pipeline project was publicly announced on the same day, also with a projected completion date of late 2018.

It was also 5 years ago this week that the formation of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) was made public, with 22 founding member organizations. The September 8 press release announcing the coalition’s creation stated:

  • The Alliance and its member organizations are gravely concerned about the proposed route of the pipeline, which could disrupt some of the most ecologically sensitive areas in the Eastern United States, including more than 50 miles of public lands in the George Washington and Monongahela national forests.
  • Alliance members are also acutely concerned that the proposed project presents substantial unjustified risks and costs for the rural communities of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region. These communities will bear the full impact of pipeline development, including the loss of private property, damage to their scenic landscape, and the risk of pollution, with few, if any, of the longterm economic benefits touted by proponents.

As ABRA begins its sixth year fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the truths in the statement made in our maiden press release have been underscored by further research and events. The ACP continues to be a project that is unneeded and incompetently conceived. We continue the fight!