Blast Zone – Natural Gas and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Causes, Consequences and Civic Action is a new report from the Rachel Carson Council. In addition to naming and exploring the economic and political systems underlying fracking and the ACP, Blast Zone highlights organizations, businesses, and campuses working in interconnected ways toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the source, restoring equity, and putting decision-making in the hands of communities.
The report discusses:
- Natural gas: current and future trends (including the “bridge fuel” myth)
- Fracking in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Basins
- The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (including the power behind it, industry motives, what’s paving the way, and the ACP and the environment)
And the report includes an entire set of “Toolboxes” for fighting the ACP:
- Policy Toolbox: Our Power Plan
- Housing Toolbox: Efficient, Affordable, Durable Investments
- Voter’s Toolbox: Supporting Fossil-Free Leaders
- Campus Toolbox: Research and Advocacy for the Public Interest
- Advocacy Toolbox: Eliminating Fracking Dangers
- Financial Toolbox: Divest and Reinvest
- Property Rights Toolbox: Challenging Eminent Domain
- Lobbying Toolbox: Re-envisioning FERC
- Policy Toolbox: Water Quality Permits
- Civil Rights Toolbox: Driving Racial and Social Justice
- Direct Action and Advocacy Toolbox
Easily understandable graphs and charts, along with photographs (many you’ll recognize) help to make the points in this clear and thoughtful report.
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) has scheduled a special meeting of its Board of Directors for October 16, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, 1300 East Main, Richmond. The meeting is for VOF to “complete its review of conversion applications related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline.”
In 2016 the ACP developers told VOF that in order for their route to avoid Forest Service land, it would need to cross 10 easements in Highland, Bath, Augusta and Nelson counties. And the MVP, although it does not want to route its proposed pipeline across the property itself, does want a permanent access road on a VOF conservation easement in Roanoke County. VOF has told both ACP and MVP that such incursions are incompatible with the conservation values of the easements. There is a process in state law known as “conversion” of open space, whereby acreage under easement is swapped for other acreage elsewhere which is then put under conservation easement. Both ACP and MVP submitted conversion proposals, and at its February 2017 meeting, after hearing presentations from the developers, VOF staff, and affected landowners, and receiving comments from hundreds of citizens. VOF’s board of trustees voted to defer a decision on applications presented by Dominion to convert open space on 10 easements that lie in the path of the proposed ACP.
The special meeting will be open to the public and VOF will accept written comments on the conversion applications through October 16, 2017. To submit written comments you may use the VOF online form, you may email comments to email@example.com, or you may mail them to the VOF Warrenton office at 39 Garrett St., Suite 200, Warrenton, VA 20186.
The details of the meeting are still being finalized and are subject to change through October 13, 2017. Check the VOF meeting page for details, changes, and further information.
Check out Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition’s (DPMC) new map showing the ACP’s proposed sequence of construction. The sequencing is based on ACP receiving project approval in September 2017 (ahead of schedule), something Dominion and others requested in a September 7, 2017 letter to FERC. On the map, click on the legend icon (second icon from right on top right) to see the dates indicated by the various colors on the map, with site prep proposed to begin November 2017 and actual construction proposed to start in February 2018.
Utilities in Virginia and North Carolina are pushing an unnecessary pipeline, despite intense opposition from local communities. These are the stories of the people who will pay the price for Dominion and Duke’s wasteful project. Check out Path of the Pipeline, the new Web page from Southern Environmental Law Center.
In a letter to Dominion dated September 11, 2017, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline “will adversely affect” the South Rockfish Rural Historic District and the Warminster Rural Historic District. The pipeline corridor will cross both districts, removing stands of mature trees. DHR states that because both Historic Districts derive much of their historic significance from their rural setting and feeling, “the construction of the pipeline through the resource’s boundary and in a manner that will be visible from contributing resources within the historic district, DHR considers the diminishment to these characteristics to be adverse.”
Read the full DHR letter here.
The cover story in the C-ville issue for September 6-12, 2017, Dividing Line: the ACP Will Change the Lay of Our Land, is a lengthy and carefully researched article on ways in which the proposed ACP, despite assertions to the contrary by Dominion and Duke Energy, would change forever the lay of the land along its route. The article includes extended interviews with Richard Averitt, Nancy and David Schwiesow of Wintergreen, and Ernie Reed, along with comments by C-ville Rising’s Lee White and pipeline supporter Carlton Ballowe. There are photographs and a large map, plus a set of questions, each answered (quite differently, as one might imagine!) by both Dominion’s Aaron Ruby and Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Greg Buppert.