A wonderful new video from independent news outlet Grist. Eastern North Carolina is home to the environmental justice movement – and also to some of the state’s biggest threats to human and environmental health, the latest being the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The documentary was published in partnership with Southerly, a nonprofit media organization that covers ecology, justice, and culture in the American South.
Grist also published the December 3, 2019 article looking at the entire route of the 600-mile proposed pipeline: A Pipeline Runs Through It.
Nelson’s Richard Averitt was at the Envision Forum hosted by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and FERC on October 20-21, 2019. He was there along with a couple hundred energy company execs and government policy makers, and was asked to sit on a panel as the only landowner voice.
The gas industry media outlet, Natural Gas Intel, quoted some of Richard’s comments: “‘I think there’s a very serious question about whether eminent domain should ever be used to produce a for-profit export project. I think that’s inconsistent with our beliefs around property rights, but particularly when you look at how the courts have extended the right to eminent domain to include preliminary injunctions, or ‘quick take,’ that collapses on landowners to be an absolute destruction of your right to due process…. The idea that eminent domain is only used as a last resort is a false narrative from a landowner’s perspective. It is used in every pipeline case if it’s on the table. Because when you sit down at the negotiating table, one of the two parties can walk away with virtually no negative impact, and the other one loses everything they care about.’
“In addition, conditional permits issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission leave landowners powerless, Averitt said. Such permits allow companies to seize land and prepare it for pipeline construction, often destroying farmland even if the project never comes to fruition, he said. ‘To enable the taking of private citizen’s land and the destruction of that land at a time when those permits are still in question is unconscionable…that’s not an appropriate due process.'”
Richard thanks fellow landowner supporters Ron Evans and Mayor Kristin McLaughlin, with special thanks to Megan Gibson and Niskanen for getting them in the room.
And we thank Richard for so ably and articulately representing landowners!
Here are YouTube links for Richards comments and to the full panel discussion:
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).
Y’all, there’s this thing I do sometimes where I go sing and play to folks who are living in trees and meanwhile directly preventing the advance of billion dollar corporations plundering Appalachia.
Yesterday I was at the Yellow Finch Blockade on day 331 of uninterrupted tree sits, saying ‘thank you’ and enjoying the company of the good folks there. I found some time in between the roar of backhoes, all perfectly perched to flip over at any moment on the side of the ridge directly across the road, to play this song I wrote this past spring called “To The River”.
It’s difficult for me to explain witnessing the song play out in real life as it’s sung – but I can say that I rarely feel more grounded and alive than when I’m with so many others who are risking something – anything – time, energy, money, safety, hope, to maintain a future we can thrive in (or simply survive in).
One of the things I can offer to the world, to a decent society, in times of struggle (though there seem to be quite a few these days, and multiplying) is music. It’s important for communities to tell their own story of resistance and I think this tune is in that greater songbook somewhere.
There are some fires burning in Appalachia that we’d like to keep lit. Some of ’em are being cared for by Appalachians Against Pipelines. I’d like to encourage you to look into this little corner of a greater movement for water protection and community defense and maybe consider supporting them at bit.ly/supportmvpresistance. They’d appreciate any help you might be able to offer, and so would the folks who’ve been fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline for five long years.
Thanks for reading, listening – and for those ‘in between’, you know who you are.
When the U.S. declared the discovery of natural gas reserves large enough to propel the country to energy independence, property owners in West Virginia could never have imagined how that discovery might affect them. CBSN Originals and ProPublica traveled to West Virginia’s “gas patch” to meet landowners Beth Crowder and David Wentz, a once-married couple who found themselves in the crosshairs of Big Gas and joined forces to fight back.