October 2014 News

10-31-14 Staunton News Leader:   Dominion asks feds to begin review of pipeline. “Energy provider Dominion Resources Inc. is asking [the FERC] to begin its environmental review of a proposed $5 billion pipeline that would deliver natural gas to the Southeast. Opponents of the project in the Augusta County area expected the request to be made soon. They are planning a rally against the project Saturday that was organized before Friday’s announcement.”  Here is the press release from Dominion, and here is the story in the Washington Post.

10-31-14 Providence [RI] Journal: Dominion Asks FERC To Begin Environmental Review Of Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion , on behalf of its joint venture partners in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, today submitted a request to begin the pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), asking the commission to begin its environmental review of the proposed $4.5 billion to $5 billion, 550-mile natural gas pipeline.

10-30-14 Staunton News Leader: Dominion’s Greed Must Be Stopped (Letter to the Editor). “A map I recently saw indicates that almost none of the route will be co-located with other rights-of-way, though there are many suitable routes in existence.”

10-30-14 WVTF Public Radio Blacksburg: Inventive Efforts in Protesting Proposed Pipeline.

10-30-14 Roanoke Times: Western Marcellus Pipeline is 3rd seeking passage through Va. Yet another pipeline….

10-29-14 Waynesboro News Virginian: Dominion touches on pipeline safety concerns. “…the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project has not been without controversy. Numerous citizens in the region have expressed concern over the project, which will cost an estimated $4.5 to 5 billion. Emmett Toms, manager of state and local affairs with Dominion Resources, did his best to inform and clear the air Tuesday morning at the Rotary Club of Waynesboro/East Augusta.”

10-29-14 Charlottesville Daily Progress:  Pipeline protestors visit lawmakers’ local offices. About a dozen Nelson County residents protested a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline Wednesday, stopping at the local offices of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to urge them to oppose the project. Pipeline Protest photos  on Daily Progress Web site.  The article (without photos) also appeared in the [Richmond] TimesDispatch.com.

10-29-14 Nelson County Times: Rep. Hurt takes no stance on Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “Although he believes developing pipeline infrastructure in general is ‘vital’ to the country, Rep. Robert Hurt, R-5th, has not yet taken a stance specifically on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, he told the Nelson County Times in an editorial board meeting last week.”

10-28-14 WSLS10.com {Blacksburg]: Landowners seek legal rights in pipeline dispute. “As concerns grow among people here in our region about proposed pipelines, hundreds attended a meeting Tuesday night in Blacksburg to learn what their legal rights are as landowners and as a community. EQT and NEXTERA have formally filed the [Mountain Valley] pipeline proposal to FERC, the federal agency that will have the ultimate say on whether this pipeline will get the greenlight.”

10-28-14 Roanoke Times: Pipeline company moves to initiate federal review of proposal. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday to begin its informal review of the company’s proposed 300-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline. As envisioned, the $3 billion-plus pipeline project, a joint venture of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy, would pump natural gas at high pressure through a 42-inch diameter pipe from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. Mountain Valley had previously said the pipeline would be either 36 inches in diameter or 42 inches, but the larger diameter was specified in Monday’s FERC filing.”

10-27-14 WSLS10.com [Blacksburg]: EQT prefiles plans to build Mountain Valley Pipeline. “On Monday, EQT pre-filed its proposed plan to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline according to officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).”

10-27-14 CNN Money: Piedmont Natural Gas Receives Regulatory Approval for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Agreements. “North Carolina Utilities Commission approves Company’s affiliate agreements with proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

10-27-14 Charlotte [NC] Business Journal: N.C. clears Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas to apply for fed permit for $5B pipeline. “N.C. regulators will allow Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to make contracts between their utilities and commercial divisions for gas transportation on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

10-26-14 Charlottesville Daily Progress: Dominion starts making adjustments to pipeline route. “More letters are going out to property owners in Virginia, as Dominion Resources makes adjustments to the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. Company officials said the plan underwent what they call a ‘minor’ rerouting after several public meetings were held over the last two months.”

10-26-14 The Daily Signal: Power Company Fights with Farmers Over Private Property Needed for Pipeline. “Dominion Power is firing back at opponents by shooting down what it calls ‘myths’ over the utility’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A hot-button issue is the potential use of eminent domain to seize private property along the natural gas pipeline’s projected 550-mile route across the state.”

10-25-14 Staunton News Leader: Talking about the pipeline … A conversation between Dominion and a News leader editor.

10-25-14 M.Roanoke.com: Casey: Where’s that pipeline gas going? “What [pipeline companies] carefully avoid mentioning are exports. And when pressed on that, they hem and haw a lot and try to sidestep the question because they can’t deny it with a straight face.”

10-24-14 Highland County Recorder: Forest service urged to reject survey request. Greg Buppert, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of several organizations (including Friends of Nelson), sent a letter to forest supervisor Thomas Speaks urging him to reject Dominion’s request to survey forest lands.  The full text of the SELC letter is here.

10-23-14 Staunton News Leader: Churchville landowner sues Dominion over surveys. “Lawyer William Little is challenging the state law authorizing natural gas companies to go onto private property without permission to survey for the most advantageous route for pipelines.”

10-23-14 Masslive.com (Massachusetts): Deerfield [MA] Board of Health votes to ban gas pipeline from town. The Board of Health asserts it has the right to ban a pipeline and compressor station in its town by authority of the 1938 natural gas act.

10-22-14 Grist: Craft brewers join the fight against natural gas pipelines. Blue Mountain Brewery is part of a Nelson County activist group opposing construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

10-22-14 Waynesboro News-Virginian: Pipeline opponents launch monitoring project. Members of the Alleghany-Blue Ridge Alliance, which consists of 22 different groups in Virginia and West Virginia, announced the creation this week of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition. The goal of the project, members say, is to monitor construction through volunteers both on the ground and in the air. (The same story appeared in the Charlottesville Daily Progress and the Lynchburg News-Advance.  Coverage of the story also appeared on 10-24-14 in the State Journal [WV])

10-22-14 Nelson County Times: A Q&A with Dominion on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Of 21 questions submitted to Dominion, officials provided responses, via email, to nine of them. Here are those questions and answers.

10-21-14 Staunton News Leader: Columbia, Dominion pipelines not comparable (Letter to the Editor). Examining existing pipelines to determine the impact of Dominion’s proposal makes sense; however, the vast difference between these projects makes their comparison a laughable proposition.

10-20-14 Whitescarver Natural Resources Management: Unwise Pipeline Calls for People Power. The biggest safety/environmental issue facing us here in the Shenandoah Valley, right now, is the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

10-20-14 ClimateProgress: Renewables And Efficiency Made Up 70 Percent Of The Drop In U.S. Emissions Since 2007 “Our analysis shows that it was the clean tech boom, not the fracking rush, that slashed the bulk of carbon emissions from the US power sector.”

10-19-14 Commonwealth TImes (VCU): Atlantic Coast Pipeline is detrimental to the environment. “The pipeline is far more detrimental than supporters think.”

10-17-14 Washington Post: Gas pipeline expansion should alarm homeowners. “The Mid-Atlantic region is facing an expansion of natural gas transport infrastructure that threatens communities’ health, safety and homes.”

10-16-14 Lancaster [PA] Online: Panel: New issues emerging in fight against gas pipelines. “While it’s true the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has only rejected one gas pipeline request in the United States in the last 10 years, only now are concerned citizens beginning to organize and present expert evidence that is beginning to give the independent agency pause, suggested Carolyn Elefant, a Washington, D.C., attorney and former FERC employee. Emerging issues include whether gas pipelines are truly needed if much of the gas is exported overseas, the need to revise pipeline requests because of the growing network of pipelines’ cumulative impacts and if pipelines affect property owners’ insurance rates and adversely affect mortgage requirements. ‘The only way these will be tested down the road is if people get organized and raise the issues,’ said Elefant.”

10-15-14 C-Ville: Long legacy: Family history fuels fight against pipeline in Nelson County. “In one pocket of southeast Nelson, a common history binds a particularly staunch group of pipeline opponents – and they say that history is a big part of why they want to see the project die.”

10-15-15 Western District of Virginia Law Blog: Legal and Political Controversy Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline that is projected to run through the heart of Central Virginia has generated much political controversy and is now the subject of a new federal lawsuit.

10-15-14 Wall Street Daily: Changing Gas Sources Present Rare Opportunity.  In June, Goldman Sachs forecasted that 85% of the growth in U.S. natural gas production in the next four years will come from the Appalachia region. The firm also predicts that 60% of the demand increase will come from the Gulf Coast, thanks to petrochemical and liquid natural gas projects. Not only does this mean that the pipeline flows will continue to be reversed, but that new gas pipelines will be constructed.

10-15-14 Virginia Water Central News Grouper: Potential Natural Gas Drilling and Transport in Virginia under Close Scrutiny in 2014. Annotated links to articles and references relevant to Virginia’s water resources (includes pipeline links)

10-14-14 NBC29: Protesters Gather as Gov. McAuliffe Presents Energy Plan. “Many who supported McAuliffe on the campaign trail say they are outraged and flat out disappointed. Environmental activists celebrated the governor’s promises to revolutionize energy in Virginia, but things changed with a proposed natural gas pipeline.”

10-14-14 Daily Press: McAuliffe pitches energy plan. Protesters said the governor’s support for a planned new gas pipeline in the western part of the state undercuts his public support for more environmentally friendly energy plans.

10-13-14 Columbus [Ohio] Business First: Dominion Resources wants to raise $350M in pipeline IPO. Although this IPO is for the Cove Point station, the point about why companies need pipelines is interesting: “Drillers want to send natural gas overseas, where it’s more expensive, to help alleviate the glut of dry gas sparked by the shale-drilling boom in places like Texas, Pennsylvania and, to a lesser extent, Ohio.”

10-9-14 Richmond Times Dispatch: Energy policy: Friends of Nelson County oppose pipeline. Guest column by Friends of Nelson’s Charlotte Rea, responding to Robert Bradley’s Op-Ed piece on September 30.

10-6-14 Yale Environment360: With the Boom in Oil and Gas, Pipelines Proliferate in the U.S. The rise of U.S. oil and gas production has spurred a dramatic expansion of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure. As the lines reach into new communities and affect more property owners, concerns over the environmental impacts are growing.

10-5-14 Waynesboro News Virginian: Pipeline reverberates beyond the board room. “Curiosity about the ambitious project and its impact on nearly 43 miles of Augusta County and neighboring Nelson and Highland counties now include Shenandoah Valley college and high school classrooms.”

10-5-14 Staunton News Advance: Where does Rep. Hurt stand on pipeline? (Letter to the Editor by Marilyn Shifflett)

10-4-14 Washington Post: Pipeline’s path stirs opposition in Va., W.Va.  It does indeed!  The same article appeared in the Charlottesville Daily Progress on 10-5-14.

10-4-14 Charlottesville Daily Progress: Lawsuit challenges state code allowing gas companies to survey land without permission.  Further coverage of the suit filed by Nelson property owners.

10-3-14 Waynesboro News Advance: Over half of affected Augusta landowners agree to pipeline survey. “Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said 51.5 percent have agreed to a survey, while 32 percent have denied the utility permission to survey. Dominion is in negotiation with the remaining affected Augusta County landowners.”

10-3-14 Nashoba [MA] Publishing: Eminent domain and closed-door decisions. “Granting a private, for-profit company this type of power over the property rights of so many organizations and individuals is a matter of grave concern and one that demands intense scrutiny from officials at all levels of government.”

10-2-14 WHAG News: Controversial Myersville [MD] Natural Gas Compressor Facility Affects Sewer Line. The construction of a controversial Dominion natural gas compressor station in Myersville MD (against the community’s will) led to damage to the city’s single sewer pipeline. Told by Dominion to fix the sewer line and send a bill, the community is disappointed in the relationship with Dominion that they were told was going to be one of partnership, but feel has turned into just another job.

10-2-14 Waynesboro News Virginian: Lawsuit challenges state code allowing gas company to survey land without permission. More coverage of the suit filed by 5 Nelson property owners.

10-2-14 Cleveland.com: Federal, local emergency crews evacuating Stark County [OH] campgrounds after oil and gas leak. The pipeline is owned by Dominion East Ohio. Dominion says that their proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would carry only “dry, pipeline-quality natural gas” but they are not willing to guarantee that.  Follow-up article from Newsnet5.com: Evacuation over, gas leak cleared at Springwood Lake Campgrounds. “The hole in the line was about the size of a nickel…. The oil coming from the ground is simply a byproduct of years of gas transportation. The leak is very small, Dominion officials said.”

10-1-14 Charlottesville Daily Progress:  Valley couple hopes pipeline does not interrupt wildlife efforts.  Habitat on their Swoope property conducive to wildlife, particularly the challenged bobwhite quail, may be threatened by the pipeline.

10-2-14 Bacon’s Rebellion: McAuliffe Dodges Mandatory Renewable Energy. “The biggest problem with the McAuliffe plan is that it dodges the issue of making Virginia’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) mandatory.”

10-1-14 Richmond Times Dispatch: State energy plan emphasizes renewable sources, efficiency. “The state must put in place policies that include traditional energy sources, renewable sources and energy efficiency, the plan said…. The Virginia Energy Plan drew mixed reaction from organizations interested in the increasingly contentious energy debate.”

10-1-14 WDBJ7.com: McAuliffe’s energy plan to make debut. “Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made energy a key component of his administration, promoting natural gas through the state and encouraging efficiency in response to climate change. Wednesday, the Democrat is expected to outline his energy vision for the state in great detail when he releases his energy plan for the state.”