Divide and Conquer?

A November 7, 2018, Richmond Times-Dispatch article by Michael Martz, which also appeared in the Daily Progress on November 8, reports that Dominion offers $5.1 million in plan to aid Buckingham community next to pipeline compressor station. Dominion is offering a $5.1 million improvement package to the African-American community that is the site of the proposed compressor station in Buckingham County. The package would include expanded emergency services and a new community center. According to Dominion, the package is “not something that is directly tied to the compressor station air permit. It’s a community need that we want to address.” But the improvement package is contingent on the successful completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, whose estimated construction cost has now reached $7 billion (up from the original estimate of $4.5 billion).

Some in the community welcome the package, others deride it. The Rev. Paul Wilson, pastor of the Union Hill and Union Grove Baptist churches near the proposed compressor station’s 58-acre site, says, “They’re using it as a divide-and-conquer technique.” According to the article, “Wilson said he was part of some discussions with Dominion in its attempt to engage the community, but contends the company deliberately left the church out of the discussions that led to the agreement it reached with other residents.”