In the News

May 2017

5-28-17 Staunton News-Leader. Editorial: Of course DEQ will only give pipeline waterway crossings cursory scrutiny. In a move more disappointing than surprising, state regulators dialed back a previous commitment to pay close attention to how two natural gas pipeline projects will impact Virginia waterways…. [A]n April DEQ press release stating that the agency would conduct individual reviews of water body crossings by both the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines in Virginia…. But almost immediately, DEQ began backtracking, blaming a miscommunication. This last week, the statement is no more and Hayden was out of the office and unable to explain how such a miscommunication could happen. How, indeed. Dominion is Virginia’s largest political donor.”

5-27-17 Richmond Times Dispatch. Va. House Democratic leader says environmental regulators ‘seemingly backtracked’ on pipeline review. “Saying Virginia’s environmental regulators have “seemingly backtracked” on earlier statements, Virginia House Minority Leader David J. Toscano has asked state officials to recommit to a more rigorous review process for the pending Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

5-26-17 MassLive. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushes bill to boost public access to FERC proceedings. “Saying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been a reliable rubber stamp for the natural gas pipeline industry, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced she is pushing a bill to create an Office of Public Participation and Consumer Advocacy within the agency. The Massachusetts Democrat said Thursday that she and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H) had reintroduced The Public Engagement at FERC Act.”

5-26-17 Allegheny Mountain Radio. Dominion Energy Walks Pocahontas [WV] LEPC Through ACP Construction Plans. “Dominion Energy continues to move forward with their plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. With that in mind, they are holding meetings with local emergency planning councils in the counties the pipeline will cross. On May 18th, several DE representatives met with the Pocahontas County [WV] Local Emergency Planning Committee to discuss their plans for construction and operation of the pipeline.”

5-25-17 Washington Post. As gas pipelines roil Virginia governor’s race, regulators backtrack on their role. “Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, under pressure from environmentalists to oppose two natural gas pipelines, told voters for weeks that he had won assurances from state regulators that they will increase scrutiny on the projects by assessing environmental impacts along specific sites, instead of relying on a “blanket” approval from federal officials. But this week, the state agency in charge of the review said it miscommunicated its plan.

5-25-17. NBC29. Groups, Veterans Voice Concern Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “A handful of military veterans are lending their voice in support of groups concerned over plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. About four veterans spoke out Thursday, May 25, about fundamental problems they see with both the proposed natural gas pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. They said they are ‘willing to defend their country and are going to defend their communities too.'”  Blue Virginia also reported on this story.

5-25-17 RTO Insider. Updated: No Fireworks for FERC Nominees at Senate Hearing. ” Pennsylvania regulator Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee, senior energy policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), received a mostly friendly reception Thursday at their Senate confirmation hearings to fill two Republican vacancies on FERC. Aside from several interruptions by anti-pipeline activists, the two-hour hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was largely uneventful with no obvious stumbles by the nominees nor attacks by senators. The tenor of the hearing suggested Powelson and Chatterjee should have no problem winning confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate to restore the commission’s quorum, which was lost in February with the resignation of former Chairman Norman Bay.”

5-25-17 Waynesboro News-Virginian. DEQ draws ire of pipeline opponents. “The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s ‘clarification’ about water quality permits related to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines is being fiercely criticized by a local group opposed to the projects.”

5-24-2017 Richmond Times Dispatch.  Virginia DEQ denies backpedaling on pipeline water-crossing reviews.  Virginia’s Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced on April 6, 2017 that it would conduct full, site-specific regulatory reviews for both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline under the Clean Water Act and state law. Seven weeks later, on May 24, 2017, DEQ says inaccurate information was provided to the public, and that the DEQ will instead rely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine stream crossings, which will number in the hundreds for each project.  This story was also covered in the Roanoke Times Dispatch:  DEQ acknowledges error, clarifies approach to review of pipelines.

5-24-2017 Power for the People VA.  Moving to block competition, Dominion files its own sort-of-green energy tariff.  “Dominion’s filing comes scarcely one month after an SCC decision confirmed the right of independent renewable energy provider Direct Energy to offer its products to Dominion customers, but only so long as Dominion lacks its own green tariff for those customers. The SCC order made clear that under Virginia law, a competitor like Direct Energy would be blocked from taking on new customers once Dominion has an approved tariff.  Dominion’s filing looks suspiciously like an effort to cut Direct Energy off at the knees.”

5-23-17 Bloomberg News. ‘Gas Apocalypse’ Looms Amid Power Plant Construction Boom. “There isn’t nearly enough electricity demand to support all the new capacity. And as wholesale electricity prices plunge, industry experts are anticipating a fire sale of scores of plants in the region. Many, in fact, have already been sold along the PJM Interconnection LLC grid, the nation’s largest, encompassing 13 states from Virginia to Illinois.”

5-23-17 Nelson County Times. Poll: Most Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina residents back Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A recent poll conducted by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a nonprofit that says it is dedicated to promoting “rational, balanced energy policies that will ensure affordable and reliable energy” for consumers, says that the majority of voters in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina support the 600-mile ACP. This story was covered by other news outlets and on (NBC29). See below for the Energy and Policy Institute article on the questionable polling of CEA.

5-22-17 Energy and Policy Institute. Front group paid by Dominion releases shady poll showing support for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Describes Dominion’s relationship with Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and details CEA’s “history of fraudulently representing public support for its clients’ energy projects.” This article was crossposted to Desmog. See mainstream news coverage of the poll above.

5-22-17 Roanoke Times (opinion). Mountain Valley Pipeline disrespects our landscape, our opinions. “In less than seven weeks, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could give the nod to questionable plans Mountain Valley Pipeline has proposed. These plans have been rolled out in a way that prevents the public from adequately understanding the effect of major infrastructure on local communities and the world-famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail…. In light of this deeply insufficient process, no one individual nor entity – including FERC – could make a well-informed decision on this proposed pipeline. FERC has a responsibility to see that the public has access to information and that the process is sufficient.”

5-22-17 ThinkProgress. Virginia landowners, environmentalists urge divestment to stop proposed natural gas pipeline. “Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline in Virginia are starting a divestment campaign, a tactic that has grown in popularity among climate and anti-pipeline activists in recent years, to persuade banks to end their financing of the Mountain Valley Pipeline…. The ‘Defund MVP’ campaign joins a growing movement of communities, tribes, and, cities across North America — from the Keystone XL pipeline to the Dakota Access Pipeline — that are targeting the financing behind pipeline projects.”

5-21-17 The Chronicle [Elyria, Ohio]. U.S. Senate hearing this week could clear way for NEXUS decision. “A U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing Thursday to fill two vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which holds the future of the proposed NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline that is proposed to be built through Lorain County.” And the ACP. And the MVP. Find contact information for members of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, click here.

5-19-17 Washington Post. A once all-powerful corporation is suddenly politically toxic in Virginia. “More than 60 candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates have rejected campaign contributions from fossil-fuel giant Dominion Energy. Two candidates for governor, a Democrat and a Republican, have, too. It’s the equivalent of an earthquake.”

5-19-17 WDBJ7. Mountain Valley Pipeline survey case reaches Roanoke courtroom. “Representatives of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and landowners who oppose the controversial project met Friday in a Roanoke courtroom. The pipeline company was asking for an injunction that would allow surveying to resume on properties where crews were turned away two weeks ago. The hearing dealt with a few parcels on Bent Mountain, but opponents say it could have much larger implications. ‘It’s our argument that MVP does not have the right to come onto anyone’s property before FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certifies the project is going forward,’ said Justin Lugar, the attorney representing members of the Terry family. ‘So there’s just no need to do it at all.'”

5-18-17 Staunton News Leader. Pipeline threatens our water supply.  Letter to the Editor by Robert Whitescarver thanks the Staunton City Council, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and the Augusta County Service Authority for their courageous leadership in protecting the water supplies for the citizens of Staunton and Augusta County and discusses the ways in which blasting and drilling for the ACP threatens those water supplies. “One single fracture in karst geology from a dynamite blast could reroute our water thus affecting tens of thousands of people. Blasting and drilling in the widest and most active karst region in Virginia is irresponsible and foolish.”

5-18-17 The Daily Press [Newport News]. State senator wants to ban Dominion Energy campaign contributions. State Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, “One of the few legislators pushing back against Dominion Energy Virginia’s influence over state government said Thursday that he hopes to harness a populist wave against the energy giant to pass major reforms in Virginia. Those include a new ban on campaign contributions from Dominion and other public service corporations, as well as an upheaval at the State Corporation Commission, the government branch tasked with regulating utilities and other businesses.”

5-17-17 Nelson County Times.  Legislators address proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline at chamber breakfast.  “Del. Richard P. “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton, and Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, spent the largest chunk of a question-and-answer session addressing the topic important to many Nelson residents and others along the 600-mile route.”

5-17-17 IGD – It’s Going Down.  Against Virginia’s Proposed Pipelines.  “These pipelines are far less than necessary for the well-being of our commonwealth, and more so just wanted by the likes of Dominion and Duke Energy so that their profits might continue to grow at the pace which equity markets demand.”

5-16-17 Washington Post. Dominion letter shows why staying neutral on pipeline project could help Northam. “Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has taken heat from environmentalists for refusing to condemn a pair of natural gas pipelines being built in the state, but a recent letter from Virginia’s biggest utility suggests the potential political payoff from his neutral stance. Dominion Energy chief executive Thomas Farrell sent a letter May 12 to the company’s 76,000 employees, retirees and shareholders throughout Virginia that urged them to consider Dominion’s pipeline project when voting in the June 13 gubernatorial primary.”  Read a copy of Farrell’s letter here.

5-16-17 Rocky Mount Telegram. Atlantic Coast Pipeline would put tens of thousands at risk. Letter to the Editor by Bill Limpert: At the environmental rally outside the May 12, 2017, Dominion shareholders meeting, “Dominion’s attempt to screen us from the view of shareholders by placing curtains around the convention center and walkway leading to it reminded me of the cold war, the Soviet Union’s iron curtain, and the Berlin Wall. Dominion shareholders should think twice about investing in a company that has so much to hide. Curtains aren’t enough to quell the growing call for Dominion to stop abusing ratepayers, citizens, and our environment.”

5-16-17 Roanoke Times. McAuliffe: Virginia will regulate carbon emissions; ‘the threat of climate change is real.’ “Gov. Terry McAuliffe Tuesday directed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to begin assembling regulations to reduce carbon emissions from Virginia power plants, a move that was celebrated by environmentalists and renewable energy businesses who see the state as a laggard when it comes to solar and wind capacity and energy-efficiency programs.”  This story was also covered by the Washington Post.

5-15-17 PR Newswire/Green America. National Coalition to Senators: No Vote on FERC Commissioners Until Hearings on FERC’s Abuses and Investigations Into Trump’s Connections to Russia Conclude. “President Trump’s Recent Firing and Threatening of former FBI Director James Comey Deepen the Cloud of Suspicion Over the Administration and FERC Commissioners Directing An Agency Deeply Tied to National Security. A coalition of national and regional organizations sent a letter [on May 15, 2017] to Senator Lisa Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, asking that the Committee postpone hearings for President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).” The full letter to Senator Murkowski can be found here:

5-14-17 Power for the People VA. Shareholder vote shows growing unease over Dominion’s role in climate change. During Dominion Resources’ annual shareholder meeting on May 12, 2017, “some 48 percent of Dominion shares that were voted supported the resolution of a major shareholder, the New York State Common Retirement fund, calling on the company’s board of directors to report on how the company will deal in coming years with the fact that the world needs to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to an extent consistent with limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.”

5-14-2017 Daily Progress. At city forum, pipeline continues to divide Northam, Perriello. “One month before the primary election for Virginia governor, Northam and his opponent, former 5th District Rep. Tom Perriello, answered questions from UVa students on a variety of topics, such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, education, women’s reproductive rights and the death penalty.”

5-12-17 Southeast Energy News.  Virginia utility’s renewable offering seen as way to stop competitors. Another attempt at dominance by Dominion.  A plan by Dominion Energy to supply 100 percent renewable power to its commercial and industrial customers has been welcomed by some clean energy advocates, but others say it will effectively forbid third parties from competing in this lucrative and burgeoning market.

5-12-17 Daily Progress. Deeds’ record shows efforts regarding ACP. In a Letter to the Editor, State Senator Creigh Deeds defends his record of oppositioin to the MVP and ACP.

5-12-17 Roanoke Times. New info should prompt McAuliffe to rescind pipeline support. Ed Reynolds, retired from a global engineering and technology company, reviews new information, such as the need for mountaintop removal, that should prompt McAuliffe to rescind his pipeline support. He is grateful for the investigative work performed by vigilant groups and citizen organizations, but wonders whether ” ‘The Virginia Way,’ that shameless, slippery, insider relationship between Gov. Terry McAuliffe, his administration, a host of our General Assembly members, and several special-interest corporate powerhouses in Virginia, including Dominion Power, live in perpetuity? Or will bold, honorable citizens of the commonwealth decide one day that they have endured enough of this slippery mess.”

5-11-17 The Washington Examiner. Murkowski: Hearings ‘soon’ on Trump’s FERC nominees. “Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski said Thursday that she will announce confirmation hearings soon for President Trump’s nominees to the nation’s lead energy watchdog, which has been shut down for more than three months because it doesn’t have enough members.” The Alaska Republican said the White House had sent formal nominations to Congress on May 10, 2017, and “We will announce a hearing to review their nominations as soon as we receive all relevant paperwork, and seek to confirm them as expeditiously as possible.”

5-11-17 Seeking Alpha. Dominion May Lose Influence Over Its Virginia Utility Regulators. The current political campaign in Virginia and its eventual outcome may diminish Dominion’s over Virginia legislators and regulators.

5-11-17 Daily Kos. What VA Lawmakers Could Do to Stop Dominion’s Proposed Pipelines Dead in Their Tracks. A frequent claim by Virginia legislators is that there is nothing they can do to stop the ACP and MVP. The claim, however, is untrue. Writing in the Daily Kos for May 11, 2017, Ross Mittiga outlines in a strategy sheet potential tactics and “real, positive steps Virginian lawmakers could take, right now, to stop or at least seriously slow down the construction of Dominion’s fracked-gas pipelines.”

5-10-17 Virginia Business.  Dominion’s name officially changes.  “Dominion Resources has officially changed its name to Dominion Energy Inc.  The Richmond-based energy company announced Wednesday that its shareholders had approved the change.  A new logo also takes effect today. Dominion’s three operating segments will change. Dominion Virginia Power will now be known as Power Delivery Group, Dominion Generation will be known as Power Generation Group and Dominion Energy will be called Gas Infrastructure Group.  Dominion Energy shares will continue to be traded under the ticker symbol ‘D.’ ”

5-10-17 Washington Post. U.S. blocks major pipeline after 18 leaks and a 2 million gallon spill of drilling mud. FERC has curtailed work on the Rover pipeline in northern Ohio after Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) reported 18 leaks and the spilling of more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid. No new horizontal directional drilling (HDD) may begin in 8 areas where drilling was planned, and the company was told to “double the number of environmental inspectors and to preserve documents the commission wants to examine as it investigates the spills.” ETP maintains that the spills, which they say are of non-toxic drilling mud, had been predicted in their permit application, but FERC said its staff has “serious concerns” regarding the magnitude of the largest spill, “its environmental impacts, the lack of clarity regarding the underlying reasons for its occurrence, and the possibility of future problems,” and that the spill was “several orders of magnitude greater than other documented inadvertent returns for the project.” Drilling mud a foot or two deep is visible in a video of the wetlands area provided by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  [Horizontal directional drilling is the process Dominion proposes for drilling under the Blue Ridge at Reed’s Gap.]

5-10-17 Richmond Times-Dispatch. Dominion shareholders approve name change but face pressure on environmental issues. At the annual shareholders meeting, Dominion changed its name from Dominion Resources to Dominion Energy (and will change its logo as well), touted their reduction in carbon emissions, but faced some pressure from shareholders on environmental issues.

5-10-17 Charlottesville Daily Progress. Explanations fall short on ACP, mountains. Letter to the Editor by Joseph McMoneagle comments on the May 5, 2017 Daily Progress story “Foes take mountaintop concerns to McAuliffe,” and discusses the move of the ACP route to the other side of the ridge from Davis Creek. “Does Dominion believe that changing sides of the mountain is going to prevent the same thing from occurring on our side as it did on the Davis Creek side — especially after removing the trees and topping the mountain ridge for almost a mile? … As paraphrased by the reporter of the story: Greg Park, construction manager, said that ‘some ridges may be cut as much as 10 feet, but nowhere near the 60 feet predicted by opponents.’ When did he walk our ridge line? Our mountain crest is 9 to 25 feet across for almost its full length. It has a 45- to 60-degree grade or greater. To meet his required 125-foot width to bury his 42-inch pipe, a minimum of 40-55 feet of the ridge — with accompanying trees, rocks, and underbrush — must go. It’s simple geometry.”

5-9-17 Roanoke Times. Pipeline route lands Newport on list of state’s ‘most endangered’ historic places. “Banners erected in the quaint village of Newport by pipeline opponents ominously proclaim ‘Entering Pipeline Blast Zone.’ Many of the small Giles County community’s historic buildings would be within the “potential impact radius” if there was a rupture of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. If approved as currently routed, the project could burrow through town, transporting natural gas at high pressure through a buried, 42-inch diameter steel pipeline.”

5-9-17 Farmville Herald.  ACP is a ‘sordid saga.’  Letter to the Editor by Deborah Kushner discusses Dominion double-speak. Example:  Dominion’s new TV commercial that touts the company as a leader in clean energy is “as much of an oxymoron as Ruby saying 50 feet of missing trees won’t be noticed.”

5-8-17 LittleSis. Former Obama EPA Official Now Lobbying for Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Laura Vaught started work in March 2017 as Dominion’s Federal Affairs Policy Advisor. She is lobbying the Senate, House, key regulatory agencies, on issues that included “Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline” and “project development and advocacy” for the ACP. She is also lobbying the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service — all federal agencies that must approve the ACP for it to proceed. “However, immediately prior to joining Dominion, Vaught served for nearly six years in the EPA during the Obama administration in a number of positions that involved close contact with elected officials and regulatory agencies.” The article further notes, “She is now using the ties she cultivated in over 20 years of EPA and congressional service to push for Dominion and the ACP.”

5-8-17  The Hill.  Trump to nominate two energy regulators.  Trump said on May 8, 2017, that he would nominate two Republicans to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If confirmed, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson would bring FERC’s size to three commissioners, giving the powerful body a quorum for the first time in three months.

5-8-17 Power for the People VA.  Sierra Club files petition with SCC seeking Affiliates Act review before Dominion sticks ratepayers with Atlantic Coast Pipeline deal.  Ivy Main writes, “Today [May 8, 2017] the Sierra Club filed a petition with the Virginia State Corporation Commission seeking a Declaratory Judgment that Dominion Virginia Power’s arrangement to obtain gas capacity in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is subject to Commission approval under the Virginia Affiliates Act. That law requires a public service corporation to get the approval of the Commission before it enters into a ‘contract or arrangement’ with an affiliated company.  The Affiliates Act applies, according to the Sierra Club, because Dominion Virginia Power’s parent corporation, Dominion Resources, is a partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline joint venture, and Dominion Virginia Power’s (DVP) fuel procurement subsidiary, Virginia Power Services Energy Corporation (VPSE), contracted for capacity on the pipeline. Put more simply, a utility—Dominion Virginia Power– and two of its corporate affiliates have negotiated a business deal, and the Affiliates Act directs the Commission to carefully review that deal to ensure that consumers don’t get the short end of the stick.”

5-8-17 NBC29. Anti-Pipeline Group Leads Discussion on Nonviolent Resistance. “People in Nelson County who are opposed to Dominion’s plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are learning how to fight the project without resorting to violence…. The ‘Direct Action and Strategy Training Session’ was held inside the Rockfish Valley Community Center. A Richmond-based group called No Atlantic Coast Pipeline led the discussion. It formed in August 2014 in response to Dominion’s proposed pipeline. The workshop’s goal is to introduce people in different communities to methods and ideas behind non-violent direct action resistance.”

5-7-17 Blue Ridge Life.  Nelson Landowner Puts Up Sign Calling Out Dominion CEO.  Richard Averitt and friends spent their Sunday afternoon putting up a sign calling out Dominion and CEO Tom Ferrall.  This story was also covered by NBC29 on 5-8-17.

5-5-17 Bloomberg. Energy Projects Worth $50 Billion Are Stalled Until Trump Fills Empty Posts.  Comments on the lack of a FERC quorum.

5-4-17 Richmond Times-Dispatch. Pipeline opponents take concerns about mountain damage to governor’s office. Following news that Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline would obliterate 38 miles of ridge lines in Virginia and West Virginia, several severely impacted residents and business owners spoke at a May 4, 2017, Richmond press conference detailing their concerns and calling on McAuliffe to reject the pipeline. At the press conference outside Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office, residents demanded the Governor use his full legal authority to stop Dominion’s plan to explode entire ridge tops along 38 miles of mountains to build the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  This story was also covered in Blue Virginia and in the Washington Post.

5-3-17 Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Virginia Pipeline Proposal Turns Into a Focal Point in Governor’s Race.  Discusses Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

5-3-17 Southeast Energy News.  Virginia pipeline opponents escalate as governor’s race heats up.  Discusses Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

5-3-17 Nelson County Times.  Dismayed by ‘misinformation’ about three Supervisors’ lack of understanding of pipeline information.  Letter to Editor by Marilyn Shifflett discusses public comments by Supervisors Tom Bruguiere, Tommy Harvey and Larry Saunders regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and her dismay that “three years after the proposal of this pipeline by Dominion, some of our elected officials seem unclear on information widely available to the public.”

5-2-17 – Farmville Herald.  Project is ‘incomplete,’ ‘unjustified.’  Joseph Jeeva Abbate says, “Evidently Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby must have fallen asleep during the testimony of the residents of Union Hill and the members of Union Hill Baptist Church when they expressed their concern on having Dominion’s proposed massive gas compressor station placed on land directly next to their properties and adjacent to two churches.” He notes that some residents are just 50 feet from the compressor station and most are within the probable impact radius of fire or explosion, but, using eminent domain, the ACP will force placement of pipeline and compressor station on “more than 300 property owners who object to having their lives, land, property, livestock, water and air violated by an unnecessary pipeline that could leak, pollute and explode.”

5-1-17 The Pipeline Fight Launched from the Right. Discusses how the threat of eminent domain mobilizes conservatives to oppose pipelines as they stand up for property rights.

April 2017

4-30-17 Roanoke Times.  Reilly: Pipeline puts land and water at risk.  Carolyn Reilly, co-owner of a farm on the proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline,  “To be clear: it is NOT only environmentalists who oppose these pipelines and support a leader with a position against them, but also conservative farmers, landowners, and homesteaders who often feel helpless and hopeless at the pending possibility of their land being taken by private corporations through the power of eminent domain. These proposed pipelines threaten more than our environment, they may rob us of our livelihoods and way of life in rural Virginia.”

4-28-17 NewsOK (Oklahoma City OK). Federal energy regulator says she won’t seek new term.  Democrat Colette Honorable, one of the two remaining FERC Commissioners, will not seek reappointment when her term expires at the end of June 2017. The Associated Press report says, “Honorable did not say when she will step down. An agency spokeswoman says Honorable could stay on until a new commissioner arrives or until Congress adjourns next year.” If she left at the end of June it would further hobble FERC’s ability to make decisions by leaving a single Commissioner on the five-member panel.

4-27-17 Nelson County Times. Dominion touts Atlantic Coast Pipeline progress, mountain construction concerns opponents.  Dominion is “pleased with the progress we’ve made. We expect that progress to accelerate as we get closer to construction.”   But, the article continues, “Dominion’s progress update came on the same day a network of opponents voiced specific concerns about ‘mountaintop removal’ they claim would be associated with construction of the pipeline.  The groups argued during a separate teleconference Thursday that mountaintops along the route would be reduced by 10 to 20 feet, with some slopes being cut by 60 feet.”  For additional media discussions of the evidence against the ACP and Dominion’s responses to pipeline opponents (and their contention that all is well), see:

4-27-17 Press Release from Chesapeake Climate Action Network.  Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline Would Require Extensive Mountaintop Removal.  A briefing paper released today details how Dominion Resources intends to blast away, excavate, and partially remove entire mountaintops along 38 miles of Appalachian ridgelines as part of the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Engineering and policy experts have examined documents submitted by Dominion to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and, using GIS mapping software, found that Dominion would require mountaintops to be ‘reduced’ by 10 to 60 feet along the proposed route of the pipeline. For perspective, the height equivalent of a five-story building would be erased in places from fully forested and ancient mountains.”

4-25-17 DeSmog.  Forest Service’s “Independent” Report on Atlantic Coast Pipeline Written by Pipeline Company Contractor.  “The US Forest Service recently published an assessment of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline, calling the report ‘independent.’  DeSmog has learned, however, that in reality the assessment was performed and written by none other than a contractor working for the pipeline company. The contractor was hired by the Forest Service to conduct the assessment.”  The same article was reprinted in TruthOut on 5-4-17.

4-24-17 Charlottesville Daily Progress.  Politicians receiving Dominion donations.  Ernie Reed’s Letter to the Editor wonders why “an energy company that holds a public service monopoly throughout most of Virginia must resort to using ratepayer income to service legislators on their payroll, to fund philanthropic donations that communities become addicted to, and to finance public-relations advertising campaigns such as the one that touts the so-called ‘benefits’ of the ACP.”

4-22-17 Charlottesville Daily Progress.  On pipeline, Deeds fails constituents.  Doug Hornig’s Letter to the Editor discusses State Senator Creigh Deed’s refusal “to take a position on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the one issue on which thousands of his constituents are looking for leadership. His reluctance to stand up to Dominion Resources, on behalf of those he allegedly represents, is an egregious betrayal of trust. It raises the ugly question of whether his voice — like so many of his fellow legislators’ — has been silenced by Dominion’s campaign donations.”

4-20-17 Farmville Herald.  Meeting “a double insult.”  Vicki Wheaton’s Letter to the Editor  points out the “double-insult” of FERC’s hearing, supposedly for Buckingham County, which was held not in Buckingham but at the Moton Museum in Prince George County. Moton Museum showcases the struggle for civil rights and social justice in education. Ironic that Buckingham residents of the African-American community threatened by both the pipeline and the compressor station had to go to the Moton Museum to speak against the violation of their community by Dominion.

4-19-17 The Supreme Court of Virginia heard two different cases on the legality of the state surveying statute, and the legality of the surveying itself, on properties that lie on the proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). For details about the cases, see the Friends of Nelson Media Advisory released April 18, 2017. No decisions have yet been issued. News coverage of the hearings appeared in many places, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and NBC TV.

4-19-17  DeSmog.  Dominion Bets Big on Establishment Candidates Northam, Gillespie in Virginia Governor’s Race.  “Virginia’s monopoly electric utility, Dominion Energy, has thrown its chips behind two establishment candidates for governor, Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie, in hopes that they can fend off populist primary opponents in both parties who have turned the utility into a campaign punching bag. ”

4-18-17 – WVTF.  Governor Faces Demonstrators, Explains Support for Natural Gas Pipeline A half dozen students clashed with Virginia’s governor Tuesday – demanding he oppose construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline or ACP from West Virginia to North Carolina.

4-18-17  Richmond Times Dispatch.  More than 50 Democrats running for Virginia House pledge to refuse Dominion money.  “More than 50 Democrats running for the Virginia House of Delegates have signed a pledge saying they will ‘never’ accept campaign contributions from Dominion or Appalachian Power, a sign of growing opposition among the Democratic base to the influence energy utilities wield in Richmond.”

4-10-17 – Washington Times.  New York nixes natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania. State environmental regulators have blocked development of a second major pipeline that would have carried natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale fields to New York and other markets, saying it endangered wetlands, streams and other habitat. New York’s DEC had already derailed the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline by denying a water quality permit. Yet in Virginia, Governor McAuliffe says he has no power to stop the ACP or MVP, even though Vriginia’s Department of Environmental Quality operates under the same federal rules as New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.



Note:  This page contains recent news articles from the past two months.  For older news articles regarding Friends of Nelson, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, anti-pipeline advocacy, and pipeline-related news, please visit our archived news pages:

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016