January 2015 News

1-31-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Let the Sun Shine.  “Prompted by recent controversy over a natural-gas pipeline, Del. Richard Bell introduced a bill that would have subjected utilities exercising eminent domain to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act with respect to the projects for which they are using the condemnation power. That seems only fitting: If a company is to enjoy the powers generally reserved to government entities, then it should be subject to the same level of accountability. A house committee disagreed and killed the measure Thursday.”

1-30-15  News Leader.  Pipeline Fight:  Bill Dies in Committee.  “A bill put forth by a local legislator – which called for public service corporations attempting to use eminent domain be subject to Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act on projects where eminent domain is claimed – died in committee Thursday afternoon, according to a press release…. ‘I am disappointed that the Commerce and Labor committee did not see fit to advance this legislation,’ Bell said in the press release. ‘This was a common sense measure that would have increased the transparency of the eminent domain process. Our citizens have the right to know what is being done on or with their property. It seems only fair and right that when the authority of the government is given to a private entity that they be subject to the same oversight and accountability.'”

1-29-15  The News & Advance.  Open Records Push for Projects like Atlantic Coast Pipeline Dies in House.  “The push to open up records on projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline died in the House of Delegates on Thursday.  House Bill 1696 was killed in committee on a near-unanimous voice vote. The bill, introduced by Del. Dickie Bell, would have made public utilities subject to sunshine laws on projects where the company is allowed to exercise eminent domain…. ‘The people are entitled to know all the facts that support the use of the power of eminent domain,’ said Henry Howell, an eminent domain attorney representing property owners in Nelson and other counties.  ‘These are important issues, and I think its test of whether we’re just talking the talk about private property ownership being a fundamental right or are we’re walking the walk.’”

1-29-15 News Leader.  For More Transparency in Eminent Domain.  Opinion column by Delegate Dickie Bell. “Eminent Domain, in the simplest of terms, allows governments to take private land and use it for public good. I have introduced HB 1696 as a way to provide greater transparency and oversight when private land is taken through eminent domain.  This is a common sense measure that will help ensure that the taking of private property through eminent domain authority remain as open and transparent as possible. No person, government, or business should have the right to repurpose private land without scrutiny.”

1-29-15  The News Virginian.  It’s Time to Reign in Eminent Domain.  Opinion column by Delegate Dickie Bell.  “Eminent Domain, in the simplest of terms, allows governments to take private land and use it for public good.  I have introduced HB 1696 as a way to provide greater transparency and oversight when private land is taken through eminent domain…. If passed, House Bill 1696 would make public service corporations subject to the public records provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, with respect to any project or activity for which it may exercise the power of eminent domain.  I believe that our citizens have a right to know what the government or utility companies are doing with their property.  Without subjecting utility companies to FOIA, Virginia landowners are put at a disadvantage in defending themselves from potential abuse of eminent domain. It seems only appropriate that we keep the process as open as possible, and that utility companies that have been given eminent domain authority be subject to the same transparency requirements as government entities.”

1-29-15 RVA Mag.  Virginia’s Very Own Keystone:  The Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  “While those in Washington debate the proposed Keystone Pipeline, running oil from Canada down to Texas Gulf Coast, a similar project is trying to get approved here in Virginia – the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. However, locals are not giving up their land and scenic views so easily…. ‘The size of this pipeline and the volume that it can move is so huge, so far in excess of any markets in the southeast,’ according to Reed. ‘It’s clearly just a ploy, an economic grab using eminent domain across the people’s properties so that they can sell gas to the highest bidder overseas.’… ‘For Nelson County it would be devastating. [The economy would be largely impacted] because of the Bed & Breakfast, Breweries, Distilleries, Wineries the National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail,’ said Reed. ‘All of these are going to be severed by this pipeline should it be built.’”

1-29-15  Nelson County Times.  Five Nelson Couples Seek Dismissal of Pipeline Survey Lawsuits.  “In his motion to dismiss, Derdeyn urged the court to dismiss the suits based on two arguments — one that the statute on which the suit is based is unconstitutional, and another that though Dominion is the entity that sent the survey letters, the suits were filed under the name of ‘Atlantic Coast Pipeline.’  Deborah Wyatt, a lawyer and a board member with Friends of Nelson, said Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a separate entity from Dominion Resources. She argues ACP has no right under the statute to access landowner property because Dominion is the entity that sent the survey notices. Dominion cannot transfer those rights to another company, she said.”

1-28-15  Blue Virginia.  “Stop the Surveys” Lobby Day Part of Effort to Counter Dominion’s Money, Lobbyists, Etc.  “The grit and determination of the people in the continued fight for property rights, and to prevent the damage the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have on cultural, historical and environmental resources will not be diminished by Dominion’s money and power. On Monday, February 2, Free Nelson and Friends of Nelson will return to Richmond for a ‘Stop the Surveys’ lobby day being co-sponsored by both groups and the Virginia Sierra Club. Senate Bill 1338, introduced by Sens. Hanger and Deeds, is to be brought before the Senate’s Labor and Commerce Committee Monday afternoon. SB 1338 would repeal the statute which now purportedly allows the ACP’s contractors to legally trespass on private property.”

1-27-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Schapiro:  Name from the Past in Fight for the Future.  “In the battle over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, there are more combatants going around in the dark than Santa Claus. And one of them is named Henry Howell III…. Hank Howell, a dead ringer for his dad, is representing for free three property owners — two in Nelson County, one in Buckingham County — whose land could be bisected by the 42-inch pipeline. They and others want the state and federal courts to stop Dominion from coming on their land to survey the proposed route.  A 2004 law guarantees gas transmission companies such access — even without a landowner’s permission. The owners say the law is unconstitutional; that it wrongly allows an invasion of private property by a private corporation invoking the authority of the state.  Dominion is pushing back. It is filing lawsuits against resistant property owners in Nelson and Augusta County, forcing them to open their land to surveyors.  The company has powerful allies: a Democratic governor (Terry McAuliffe) and a Republican speaker of the House (Bill Howell), both of whom favor the pipeline as a jobs generator, and a Democratic attorney general (Mark Herring) who is defending the 10-year-old law in court, though he won’t say where he stands personally on the project.  All are recipients of Dominion’s largesse. In the past year, political-action committees controlled by McAuliffe, Howell and Herring have received $112,000 from the Richmond energy giant, which is consistently the biggest donor to state legislators.  Landowners contend the 2004 law betrays a 2012 amendment to the Virginia Constitution that strengthens property rights. However, that amendment retains a century-old carve-out for utilities, railroads and other regulated industries, freeing them to seize private property for public use following payment to the landowner…. ‘The owners are powerless normally to fight the taker,’ said Howell, referring to the property-condemning entity. ‘If it’s only VDOT or a locality — let’s say it’s for water, sewer or better roads — that’s a good thing. People embrace it. But these people never thought that, in their country, this much corporate power and government power would be coming at them, which forever makes them cynical about government.’”

1-26-15  WFPL 89.3 FM.  Proposed Conversion of Gas Pipeline to Carry Natural Gas Liquids Through Kentucky Raises Questions, Concerns.  “‘Natural gas, you have a leak, it either explodes or it dissipates,’ said Tom FitzGerald, executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental non-profit.  ‘Natural gas liquids, you have a leak, you end up with an asphyxiation hazard because they tend to cling near the ground. You have an explosion hazard because they are flammable. And then you have a groundwater pollution and land pollution problem.’”

1-26-15  Blue Virginia.  Dominion “Spin” out of Control.  “Today in the Roanoke Times, Dominion’s Chief Environmental Officer, Pamela Faggert attempts to justify Dominion’s bullying, abusive tactics to use lawsuits to force unwilling landowners to submit to the survey of their private property…. Ms. Faggert justifies the lawsuits saying ‘over 3,000 miles of potential routes have been considered.’ From the reports filed with FERC, it is obvious lines on maps may have been drawn for other possible routes, but Dominion gave them no serious consideration. They simply tallied the miles of forestland, wetlands, pasture and state and national properties the other ‘proposed routes’ would traverse and summarily dismissed. They did no environmental, cultural or historical studies of those proposed routes; none at all.  She further states, ‘Great care is being taken to find the route that will have the least impact on all resources.’ To which resources does she refer? Certainly not the resources of the Nelsonians who will be forced to give up their land against their will. At a recent open house, a Dominion representative told a Nelson landowner who has a spring fed water system that since springs are unregulated, Dominion would do nothing to replace her water if its blasting during construction dried up or contaminated her water supply. This specialist went so far as to say no one today relies only on spring fed water. Since it is obvious Dominion is not referring to landowner resources, we can only believe Mrs. Faggert is referring to the resources her company will lose should they be forced to abandon the current proposed path.”

1-26-15  WSVA News and Talk Radio.  Forest Service Gets Tremendous Response.  “The US Forest Service asked for your opinion and boy did they get it.  The Forest Service just closed a comment period where it was seeking comments on whether to allow surveys on a 12.6-mile segment of the George Washington National Forest for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Highland and Augusta counties.  The Forest Service says it received nearly 75-hundred emails, almost 250-letters and a petition with 75 signatures on it.  They’ll use the comments and an environmental review to decide whether to issue a permit for Dominion to do the surveys.”

1-23-15 Blue Virginia.  Atlantic Coast Pipeline Opponents Rally on Capitol Square.  “Anti-pipeline grassroots groups Free Nelson and Friends of Nelson, and the Sierra Club held a rally Friday at the Bell Tower protesting the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They were also there to seek support for a bill Senators Emmett Hanger (R-Mt. Solon) and Creigh Deeds (D-Milboro) are cosponsoring which would repeal what has been dubbed the Wagner Bill. The Wagner bill purportedly gives natural gas companies the right to trespass on private property without landowner permission to survey and do other testing needed as they choose the best possible route for a pipeline.”

1-23-15 WSLS 10 (Richmond).  Gas Pipeline Opponents Rally in Richmond.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday in Richmond in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.”

1-23-15 NBC 29.  Gas Pipeline Opponents Rally in Richmond.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday in Richmond in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  As lawmakers wrapped up the week, Virginians against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project spoke out about Dominion and politicians on board with the proposal.  ‘Bring it on, Dominion. The more you force your way, the more we will fight this injustice,’ said Joanna Salidis, Friends of Nelson president. ‘My blood boils when I hear our governor and others crow about how much economic development this pipeline will bring.’… Some protestors did congratulate lawmakers, like 24th District Senator Emmett Hanger (R) and 25th District Senator Creigh Deeds (D) for introducing legislation that they feel would empower landowners. Senate Bill 1338, led by Sen. Hanger, would repeal code that currently allows inter-state natural gas companies to go on property without the consent of landowners. ‘In my opinion at least, it would be a better situation if the utilities and to work more closely with the property owners in gaining permission, in being respectful of their private property rights,’ Hanger said.”

1-23-15 NBC 29.  Nelson Co. Families Fighting Pipeline Lawsuit. “Landowners in Nelson County are pushing back against Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC for trying to survey their land for the Dominion natural gas pipeline…. Five Nelson Co. couples are filing motions to dismiss a lawsuit from ACP. The company is suing landowners who won’t give them permission to survey their land for the pipeline project. Landowners say Dominion sent notices to survey their land, but ACP did not. Therefore, they argue ACP doesn’t have the right to sue them.  ‘There are many, many impacts that this pipeline will have, not just to our particular piece of land but to the county in general,’ said Corry Andrews, Nelson Co. landowner. ‘We feel very comfortable fighting it legally, and with any means that we can at this point.’  Landowners also say the survey statute is unconstitutional because it allows for taking private property without providing any compensation.”

1-23-15 The Charlottesville Newsplex.  Opponents of Proposed Gas Pipeline Rally in Richmond.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline…. Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 The Daily Progress.  Opponents of Proposed Gas Pipeline Rally at Virginia Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 The Virginian-Pilot.  Opponents of Proposed Gas Pipeline Rally at Virginia Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 The Huffington Post.  Opponents of Proposed Gas Pipeline Rally at Virginia Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15  Fox Business News.  Opponents of Proposed 550-Mile Natural Gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline Rally at Virginia Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Opponents of Proposed Gas Pipeline Rally at Virginia Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 The News & Advance.  Citizens Rally in Richmond Against Proposed Nelson County Pipeline (with Video).  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources is partnering with other utilities to build the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to deliver gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route.”

1-23-15 News Leader.  Dominion Pipeline Opponents Rally at Capitol.  “Environmentalists and western Virginia property owners rallied Friday at the state Capitol in opposition to a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline…. Friday’s rally was organized by the Sierra Club and Friends of Nelson, a group of property owners in Nelson County who live along the proposed pipeline route…. Calling climate change an ‘immense environmental crisis,’ Kirk Bowers of the Sierra Club said the project would worsen sea-level rise and flooding in Hampton Roads. Property owners whose land would be crossed by the pipeline say the utilities are trampling on their property rights.  Joanna Salidis of Nelson County, a landowner in the pipeline’s path, decried what she called Dominion’s ‘bullying’ tactics.  ‘You can imagine our horror when Dominion came and told us they could cut our trees and drain our wetlands and blast through our rivers,’ she said.”

1-23-15 The Charlottesville Newsplex.  Sen. Deeds Proposes Bill to Limit Surveying Without Written Consent.  “Virginia state Senator Creigh Deeds proposed new legislation Friday to limit the ability of natural gas companies to survey a property without written consent from a landowner.  The bill is aimed at repealing a provision enacted in 2004 that allows companies like Dominion Resources to survey property without consent.”

1-22-15  Marcellus Drilling News.  VA May Repeal Law Allowing Pipelines Access Without Permission.  “Accessing a landowner’s property without permission, and later (potentially) forcing that landowner to allow a pipeline across the property via eminent domain have never been supported by MDN. Neither, it seems, is it supported by other pro-drillers, especially those in Virginia. State Sen. Emmett Hanger from Augusta County, VA (located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of VA) is a conservative, business-friendly and pro-drilling Republican…. Hanger is attempting to get a 2004 Virginia law repealed that allows access to private property without permission so Dominion (and others) can survey the property for pipeline routes. As Hanger points out, that kind of behavior is working against them in terms of community goodwill.”

1-22-15 The News Leader.  Emmett Hanger’s Triple Play.  Editorial.  “Our local state senators are trying to right a 2004 General Assembly wrong at the center of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline debate.  In doing so, Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, and Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Millboro, are not only taking on the ever-powerful Dominion Transmissions, but acting on behalf of private landowners who have been strong-armed by the utility’s lawsuits and threats of eminent domain.  This is what leadership looks like.  Hanger and Deeds have introduced S.B. 1338, a repeal of the measure that allows Dominion Transmissions, or any utility, to enter and survey private property without landowners’ permission.”

1-22-15  We Are Cove Point.  Virginians Don’t Take Kindly to Dominion’s Bullying.  “Virginians are no pushovers. Hundreds of landowners have been unwilling to let Dominion survey their land for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. By playing hardball and filing suit against them to get access to their land, Dominion revealed just how much it needs to get this $5 billion project done. It has also got people’s backs up.  Rural Virginians have a strong attachment to their native mountains, valleys, streams and hills. These pipeline battles are uniting environmentalists and conservative Virginians in a commonsense alliance.”

1-21-15 Nelson County Times.  Owner of Historic Wingina Property Is Epitome of Pipeline Opposition.  “Rooted deep in nearly 300 years of rich family history, Andrew and Digna Gantt’s farm in Wingina has weathered wars, wealth, poverty and Reconstruction. It has been used as an Indian settlement, a plantation, and now as an unofficial area of conservation…. Gantt is steadfast in turning down [Dominion’s] request to access his property. ‘Their ‘invasion’ is potentially a lot more serious and its deleterious effects much longer lasting than Sheridan’s troops riding up on our back porch in 1865,’ he said…. when it comes to the passion of his family’s land and long history, Gantt said he would lay down in front of the bulldozers if the time comes. ‘I feel so strongly about this,’ he said. ‘It’s uncalled for and unjust. The pipeline is going through some 200 properties of people who have their lives established here. They can’t say no, it’s so hard to say no. It’s an enormous effort to say no.'”

1-21-15 The Roanoke Times.  Pipelines Prompt Discussion of Property Rights Law.  “A self-described conservative, business-friendly Republican in the Virginia Senate hopes colleagues in the General Assembly will repeal an increasingly controversial state law that grants natural gas companies the right to access private property without an owner’s permission to study and survey the property, without compensation, for a possible pipeline route.  Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, emphasized that he supports the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and believes it could add vital natural gas infrastructure.But he said the companies currently proposing two interstate natural gas transmission pipelines whose paths would travel through Virginia should be able to define routes without having to survey property without an owner’s permission — or, later, turn to eminent domain to purchase pipeline easements.  ‘This is migrating from an issue about energy to an issue about private property rights,’ Hanger said Wednesday…. Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, was one of only four senators who voted against the 2004 bill. He said he will support Hanger’s effort to repeal it.  ‘I thought then and I think even more now that it’s unconstitutional,’ Deeds said.”

1-21-15 Blue Virginia.  Living in Dominion’s Sacrifice Zones.  “At the end of a country lane in Nelson County, Virginia, you will find one of Dominion’s sacrifice zones.   Approaching the home , built in 1904, there are acre upon acre of fertile rolling pasture; in the background, you see only steep mountain slopes. The views are commonplace in this area, but are breathtaking still.  The 400-acre property is owned by John Ed Purvis and his wife, Ruth.  John Ed has lived in Nelson his entire life on this farm with the exception of the four years he spent in the Air Force.  His wife Ruth grew up in Nelson too…in the Tyro and Roseland areas of Nelson County. He and Ruth married in 1954 and will celebrate their 61st anniversary in February.  They have four children, and they both worked outside the home, while farming the land, and raising their family.  John Ed is the seventh generation of his family to own and farm this land…. John Ed and Ruth, just as their ancestors were, have been good stewards of the land, raising cattle, growing hay and harvesting timber.  One day last May, John Ed and Ruth received a certified letter from Dominion Resources telling them a pipeline was coming through.  Dominion needed to survey the Purvis farm because it wanted to construct its 42″ natural gas pipeline on their family farm.  John Ed and Ruth were surprised like other Nelsonians and were even more surprised when they learned about a law the Virginia General Assembly passed.  ‘This law they passed in Richmond in 2004 allowing survey without permission isn’t right.  It has gotten everybody riled up,’ he stated.   He continued, ‘Eminent domain is for building schools and roads–things that benefit the community.’ The couple is keenly aware they and other landowners, nor the community will receive any benefit from Dominion’s attempted land grab to build its pipeline. ”

1-20-15 The News Leader.  Fishersville Event Draws Pipeline Backers, Opponents.  “At Dominion’s latest open house to provide information on a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through Augusta County, many among the hundreds who turned out found colorful ways to take matters into their own hands.  Inside and outside Augusta Expo, they demonstrated with a prop, held signs aloft, chanted, sang and argued energy policy with their opponents.”

1-20-15 The News Virginian.  Federal Presence Galvanizes Pipeline Open House.  “The most popular man at Tuesday night’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline open house was a representative of the permitting agency for the project, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Kevin Bowman, the pipeline’s environmental project manager for FERC, listened patiently for more than two hours as Augusta County residents stated their concerns and asked questions. The open house was held at Augusta Expo and sponsored by Dominion Resources, the company who proposed the pipeline.  ‘This helps us understand the issues and concerns of the people,” said Bowman, who said he has heard worries about wetlands, endangered species and cultural resources  from Augusta County residents Tuesday night and Nelson County residents last week.”

1-20-15 C-Ville Weekly.  Dominion Withdraws Some Suits, But Forges Ahead with Pipeline Plans.  “Dominion Resources has dropped 14 lawsuits against Nelson County landowners it says it sued in error, but dozens more suits over the company’s right to survey land for its proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline are going ahead as many residents continue to voice their opposition…. That still leaves 45 landowners in Nelson and another 31 in Augusta who have been named in suits by Dominion. The company said in December it plans to file suit against a total of 122 property owners in Nelson and 56 in Augusta.  Anger over Dominion’s exercise of its right to sue for survey access was on display at a project open house held by the company at Nelson County High School in Lovingston last Wednesday. Dozens of Dominion employees and contractors manned information tables in the school’s cafeteria, while long lines of locals waited to share their opinions with representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has the final say in whether the project can go forward.  The prevailing opinion was touted on buttons and T-shirts worn by most of the crowd: No pipeline. Opponents at one point stood in the middle of the room and sang a few verses of Augusta folk duo Robin and Linda Williams’ anti-Dominion ditty ‘We Don’t Want Your Pipeline.’”

1-20-15 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Dominion Clarifies Effect of Pipeline Route Change on Landowner Lawsuits.  “Dominion Transmission Inc. has withdrawn lawsuits against three of the 14 Nelson County landowners whose properties were removed from the route of the company’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and dropped pending litigation against two others…. The change in route was enabled by another landowner who offered to allow the company to build the pipeline through pasture land he and his wife own so it could avoid 17 parcels in the original path.”

1-20-15 NBC 29.  Update:  Dominion to Drop Pipeline Survey Suits Against 3 Landowners.  “UPDATE: Dominion Resources is apologizing to Nelson County landowners mistakenly sued for not allowing natural gas pipeline surveyors on their properties.  A spokesman says the energy company is dropping lawsuits filed against three landowners who were not actually in the pipeline’s proposed path.  Dominion says that a revision of the pipeline’s route last October removed 14 landowners’ properties from the path. Of the 14 properties, only 3 landowners had lawsuits filed against them.”

1-20-15 The Roanoke Times.  Our View:  The Fundamental Right to Private Property.  “Here’s another, slightly different, question we throw out for public discussion: Should the law recognize all utilities as being the same, or should it recognize differences?  For instance, if you want electricity, you really only have one choice: To buy it from whoever your power company happens to be…. However, are natural gas companies a different sort of utility that merits a different standard? Here, there is competition – between different pipelines and ultimately different sources of energy. Yes, supplying natural gas serves a public purpose in that the economy runs on energy, but it’s also in the context of a free market where consumers can choose whether to run on natural gas or something else. Supplying food serves a public purpose, too, but we don’t give Kroger or Food Lion the power to condemn land to build a supermarket.  So why should competing pipelines have that power? Or at least the same level of power that a monopoly has? Or consider this: Should the gas company’s ability to bypass that otherwise ‘fundamental right’ to private property and walk over someone’s land to survey and drill and whatnot come before that ‘public need’ has been established, or should it come after?  Something you might want to ask your state legislator about if you agree.”

1-19-15 Watchdog.org.  Bills Target Utilities on Eminent Domain, Open Records.  “A land-rights coalition wants to curb the power of Virginia’s public utilities and open company records to the Freedom of Information Act.  At the urging of the Augusta County Alliance, Sens. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, and Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, seek to repeal a 2004 state law that allows utilities to go onto private lands to conduct surveys without permission of property owners.  The issue is a volatile one, as Dominion Energy plans to run a large-gauge natural-gas pipeline across Virginia — much of it on private land.  Travis Geary, a leader in the Augusta uprising, accuses the state’s largest utility of ‘corporate overreach’ and ‘flaunting eminent domain.’  ‘As demonstrated by Dominion’s recent lawsuits against landowners, the interests of utilities in Virginia have come to compete with the well-being of the people in an unhealthy way,’ Geary said.”

1-19-15 WAVY-TV.  Va. Students Voice Concern over Proposed Pipeline.  “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been hotly contested by plenty of landowners, but on Monday, a different voice was heard. College students from around the Commonwealth took to the Capitol with a message for Virginia’s top man in charge.  ‘These projects being proposed are going to affect us as youth more than the people making the decisions,’ said Daynna Jaye, Chair of the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition. ‘Students speak more loudly to certain issues than a lot of community members, but we do stand in solidarity with a lot of people who oppose the pipeline for reasons such as it coming across their property.’”

1-19-15 Nelson County Times.  Dominion Resources to Drop Lawsuits Against 14 Nelson County Landowners.  “After a reroute to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion Resources is dropping lawsuits against 14 Nelson County landowners whose property was on the original route but has since been removed from the path of the pipeline…. Included on the list of dropped lawsuits are Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks and his wife Sherri, who live in Shipman.  ‘I’m delighted for me and my family but I still stand for those who oppose this and will continue to fight it,’ he said.  Brooks said he has not yet officially heard from Dominion that the lawsuit would be dropped.  ‘Until we heard from them, we have to assume the worst,’ he said.  ‘If they can’t get the paperwork right, who’s to say they can get [the pipeline] right.’”

1-19-15 WSET 13.  Nelson County Man Fights to Save Family History from Dominion Pipeline.  “A Nelson County man is fighting to protect his family history which lies in the path of Dominion’s proposed 550-mile pipeline.  In a quiet community in the heart of Wingina, Reverend James Rose opens the gates to the Peaceful Garden Cemetery.  It’s one of four known African American cemeteries in the Union Hill area.  ‘I have cousins, my grandfather, my grandmother, aunts, cousins, my wife was just buried here in December,’ said Reverend James Rose.  Rose’s family cemetery sits on a former plantation deeded to his great-grandfather in 1887. The earliest marked head stone dates back to the ’30s but there are many unmarked graves that likely go back further.  ‘Our ancestors fought hard to keep it and they wanted us to continue on,’ said Rose.  So Rose has taken up a fight of his own against Dominion, to prevent the company’s 42 inch pipeline from cutting through a part of his history.  ‘To have them come in and try to disrupt part of it is ludicrous,’ said Rose.”

1-17-15  The News Virginian.  Dominion Not Considering All Alternatives.  Opinion piece by Eleanor Amidon. “Existing pipelines are rejected with statements like the following: ‘The environmental impacts associated with the upgrades and new pipeline construction for the Transco system would likely be similar to or greater than those of the ACP. Therefore, the theoretical modifications to the existing system would provide no environmental advantage over the ACP. For this reason, and the fact that the existing system does not meet the ACP’s purpose and need, the existing Transco system is not considered a viable system alternative.’  A statement that environmental impacts ‘would likely be’ anything is pure conjecture. ‘Theoretical modifications’ are so blatantly imaginary that they are not described or quantified in any way. These sentences do not constitute a ‘reason’ for anything. The proposed ACP is touted as the only viable system alternative without actually comparing its impacts to anything. The same words and the same illogic appear regarding the existing Columbia and East Tennessee systems.”

1-17-15  Blue Virginia.  Oops, Dominion Accidentally Sues 14 Nelson County Landowners.  Opinion blog.  “After we reported here on Blue Virginia this week Dominion had sued Sheriff David Brooks and his cancer stricken wife, Sherri, Charlottesville’s Channel 19 interviewed the Brooks and the piece aired Thursday night. Oddly, on Friday Dominion sent out a statement to some media outlets saying they had given  their attorneys, McGuire Woods, incorrect maps. The firm used the incorrect maps as the basis to file lawsuits against Virginia landowners who have refused to allow Dominion onto their properties to survey for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A total of 59 lawsuits were filed in Nelson County as of January 9th…. Mrs. Brooks stated, ‘They must have apologized silently to themselves because we have NOT heard from Dominion. We got this information from Rachel Ryan at Channel 19. We still oppose the pipeline and Dominion trying to take over our neighbor’s property. We are still going to fight Dominion.'”

1-17-15 The Roanoke Times.  Dominion Pipeline Threatens Historical Sites, Landowners Say.  “Dominion Transmission, leader of a partnership that proposes to build the $5 billion, 554-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is trying to thread its way through dense layers of history in a region settled first by the Monacan tribes hundreds of years before Capt. John Smith documented their presence in 1612, and then by plantation owners who relied on river commerce and slave labor to prosper.”

1-17-15  Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Dominion Weaves Pipeline Path Through History in Nelson County.  “Opponents contend the history will be impossible to avoid — from the African-American burial sites and former Monacan villages on the river lowlands to the architecturally rich Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District, which the state recommended in the fall for nomination to the national and state registers of historic places.  ‘The point we are trying to make to both (federal regulators) and Dominion is that this entire area is too sensitive and significant for a pipeline to go anywhere near,’ said Janice Jackson, a Shipman resident who has been working with Rose to highlight the potential threat to the community’s history. ‘These are treasures, and they go back to the beginning of our nation,’ said Constance Brennan, a Nelson supervisor who is a leader in the fight against the pipeline.”

1-16-15 Charlottesville Newsplex.  UPDATE: Dominion Drops Lawsuit Against Nelson Co. Sheriff.  “Dominion Resources has dropped the civil lawsuit against Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks and his wife, citing the use of incorrect maps in the preparation of the lawsuit.”

1-16-15 WDBJ 7.  Dominion Resources Drops Lawsuits Against 14 Nelson County Landowners.  “Dominion Resources has dropped the civil lawsuit against 14 Nelson County landowners including Sheriff David Brooks and his wife.  Dominion reports it used incorrect maps when preparing the lawsuit that showed Brooks property on the proposed route for its Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  According to Dominion 14 landowners in Nelson County had properties on the original proposed route but were removed when the route changed in October. However Dominion said the maps were not updated before lawsuits were filed.”

1-15-15 Nelson County Times.  Group Travels to Washington to Discuss Pipeline.  “A group concerned about potential damaging effects of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline traveled from Nelson County to the nation’s capital last month to present those issues to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…. The briefing included information on impacts to Nelson’s economy, watersheds, private property, history, culture and citizen safety, such as potential hazards of building on mountainous slopes with unstable soils that were damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969…. Jackson said her role in the presentation was to research and speak on impacts the pipeline could have on historical African-American communities, cemeteries and slave burial grounds; sacred lands and documented archeological sites of the Monacan Indians; and significant properties and plantations in the Wingina area.  ‘I became involved in the pipeline opposition effort, in large part, because I was so dismayed about Dominion’s ill-conceived and insensitive selection of this area for the route,’ Jackson said. ‘I reminded Commissioner Bay that Dominion is supposed to chart a route that has the least impact on historic and culturally significant areas, and hoped that what we had shared demonstrated that this entire area is too significant for a pipeline to go anywhere near.’”

1-15-15 Charlottesville Newsplex.  Sherriff’s Wife Fighting for Her Life, and Her Land.  “Dominion Resources has filed another round of civil lawsuits against landowners in Nelson County to gain access to their properties to survey for a natural gas pipeline. Sheriff David Brooks and his wife, Sherri, are one of the 59 families being sued by Dominion….  ‘Would you want this in your backyard or your front yard where your kids play, where your grandkids play?’ asked Sheriff Brooks.   The proposed route for the five billion dollar pipeline carrying natural gas from Ohio and Pennsylvania, could run right through their property off James River Road. The land was once an apple orchard and has belonged to the Brooks family for three generations.  ‘This land has value to us, more than just a monetary value,’ Sherri Brooks said.”

1-15-15  Charlottesville Newsplex.  Dominion Resources Sues More Landowners in Nelson County for Pipeline Survey.  “Dominion Resources is suing more landowners in Nelson County to gain access to their properties for a pipeline survey.  The News & Advance reports that the company filed lawsuits against 39 landowners last week. In December, the company sued 20 landowners in the county who won’t allow it to survey their properties for the proposed $5 billion natural gas pipeline.  The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run 550 miles through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.  The pipeline is being proposed by Dominion, Duke Energy and other partners to deliver natural gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.”

1-15-15 Charlottesville Newsplex.  Dominion Holds Open House on Pipeline.  “Dominion Resources has proposed a controversial natural gas pipeline that will cut through parts of Nelson and Augusta County.  They held an open house at Nelson County High School to show residents the proposed plans, and to answer questions about the project.  Many residents have denied Dominion access to their land to survey for the pipeline. Dominion has responded by suing the landowners for access.  Also at the meeting were representatives of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who have to approve the pipeline in order for to be built.”

1-14-15 Nelson County Times.  Dominion Files More Lawsuits for Surveying Rights.  “Dominion Resources has filed its second set of lawsuits against Nelson County landowners who have declined to grant the company permission to survey their property for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Last month, Dominion filed lawsuits against 20 Nelson landowners. Last week, another round of lawsuits were filed against an additional 39 landowners in the county.  Dominion officials have said they expect to file lawsuits against a total of 122 landowners in Nelson County for access to their property.”

1-14-15 Nelson County Times.  Second Open House Held for Pipeline Project in Nelson County.  “Much like its first open house, Dominion Resources representatives answered questions from residents about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that could run through about 35 miles of Nelson County…. Kathy Versulys, of Afton, is a landowner on the proposed path. She said she is more energized since the last open house and feels stronger than ever that Nelson County is the wrong place for the pipeline.  ‘I just can’t imagine that Nelson County isn’t the most obviously worst place to put a 42-inch pipeline,’ she said.  Versulys said the geology of the county is what she feels makes it unsuitable.  ‘They want to put the pipeline directly over where the mountains slid right off in 1969 [during Hurricane Camille],’ she said. ‘There is a history of rainstorms like that.’”

1-14-15 NBC 29.  Dominion Hosts Public Pipeline Discussion with FERC in Nelson Co.  “Hundreds of people came out to Nelson County High School to learn about a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross around 40 miles of the county.  They spoke with representatives of the company proposing that project, Dominion Resources, and many made their voices heard in opposition.  Wednesday night’s meeting was also the first time affected landowners have had the opportunity to talk with representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that will have the final say on approving or denying the project.”

1-14-15 Blue Ridge Life.  Lovingston:  Open House on Proposed Pipeline Held Wednesday Night.  “Nelson residents crowded into the Nelson County High School Cafeteria Wednesday night for Dominion’s open house, many to get information on their properties, most to register their protests over the proposed pipeline.  Dominion had tables set up to allow interested people to talk with their experts on environmental and property issues and many of the discussions seemed polite but contentious. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also had representatives present, and the lines at that table were quite long for most of the 2-1/2 hours of the open house.  Protesters sang “We Don’t Want Your Pipeline” and “We Shall Overcome” several times and a group held a lighted “No Pipeline” sign outside, facing U.S. 29.”

1-14-15 Nelson County Times.  Pipeline Information Meeting in Nelson Will Go Ahead.  “The informational open house for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is still scheduled to occur tonight, Jan. 14 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Nelson County High School in Lovingston.  Nelson County schools were cancelled today due to inclement weather but the school system has given the go-ahead for the meeting to continue.”

1-14-15 MS News Now.  Pipeline Fire Burns out; Leaves Behind Scorched Patch of Forest.  A 30-inch pipeline explodes in Mississippi.

1-13-15 News Leader. Taking on Dominion. “Let the record show Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, is taking on Dominion Transmissions. We are not sure this has ever happened before in Virginia’s General Assembly.  Bell has introduced House Bill 1696, which makes any public service corporation trying to use eminent domain subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act on projects for which it is exercising eminent domain. If this bill passes, all documents related to the Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would cut through Augusta County, would be open to public inspection.  Does this bill have any chance of passing? Probably not. But are we glad to see it introduced, especially by a local delegate? Emphatically, yes.  Dominion says it is acting in the public interest with the construction of a pipeline that will require seizure of large amounts of private land. In response, we say it only fair that citizens have full access to information about the project, just as they would if the government were exercising eminent domain to build a road or any other public project.”  Thank you, Dickie Bell!

1-12-15 The Commonwealth Times: VCU’s Independent Student Press.  The Atlantic Coast Pipeline Undermines Property Rights.  “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the authority to accept, reject or modify a natural gas company’s request to build a pipeline on private land. Should the commission approve the project, landowners must acquiesce under the power of eminent domain. Eminent domain, which was originally intended for our government during times of war, is now a mechanism for big businesses.”

1-11-15 The Virginian-Pilot.  In Chesapeake, a Fight’s Coming Down the Pipeline.  “The project has met stiff opposition in Virginia’s Nelson and Augusta counties, where residents say the right-of-way would spoil pristine mountain views and damage the environment.”

1-11-15 NBC 29.  Friends of Nelson Holds Pipeline Meeting. “Friends of Nelson president Joanna Salidas spoke to the crowd, asking for their support heading into the open house. She says this will be the first time people living in the county will get to speak face-to-face with representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  ‘We want people to speak to the FERC representative or representatives that will be present at the open house. We want them to let the representative know how they will be negatively affected by this pipeline,’ she stated.  Salidas is urging landowners who are facing Dominion’s lawsuits to stay strong in their opposition. ‘People have not done anything wrong by refusing to survey. It’s not the landowner’s responsibility to allow trespassers on their property, it’s Dominion’s responsibility to prove that they have the right to trespass against a landowner’s permission.’ [Sued landowner] Klueh says she’s not giving up. ‘It’s not scary. We will do everything that we can to prevent the pipeline going through Nelson County, and if we have to go to court, then so be it.'”

1-10-15 The Daily Progress. Rally Against Dominion Pipeline on Mall. Image Gallery.

1-10-15 Charlottesville Newsplex. Pipeline Protests on the Downtown Mall.  “Some protesters say that Dominion Power is suing landowners and Nelson County to take land for the pipeline. They are calling for more research on the effects of the pipeline and for other location options besides Nelson County.  Joanna Salidis of Friends of Nelson says she isn’t buying a word of what Dominion has to say. ‘Are they telling us that literally this is the only place in the entire state that could accommodate a pipeline,’ she said. ‘Lets see a real analysis of alternatives.'”

1-10-15 NBC 29. Gas Pipeline Protestors Rally in Downtown Charlottesville.  “Protestors in downtown Charlottesville spoke out Saturday against the Dominion pipeline.  Leaders of the movement say the pipeline will threaten the area’s water supply, and could even cause landslides. Now, they’re asking politicians for support.”

1-9-15 The Daily Progress. Opinion/Letter: Jury Should Weigh Pipeline Survey. Letter by Donald Wright.  “We have a deeply troubling issue in the commonwealth in which Dominion Virginia Power-Dominion Transmission Inc. seeks to eviscerate private property rights through gross misuse of eminent domain to take access and easement rights to private property. We are well aware that power and money have made a mockery of our justice system. We must resist this evil that allows those of power and influence to take access and private property through a miscarriage of justice. The rights of our posterity depend upon it.”

1-8-15 Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.  Pipeline Meeting Today in Jackson.  “’Resistance is coming from those who are bearing the costs but aren’t getting much in the way of the benefits—western Virginia, the area near the Shenandoah Valley,’ Swartz said in an interview with North Carolina News Service. ‘That is obviously a beautiful area and it’s not going to be enhanced by having a pipeline through it…. They have every reason to fight it,’ he said. ‘Even if they don’t think they’re going to ultimately prevail, landowners will then get greater compensation for allowing the pipeline, and they’ll probably also get greater expense put on trying to make sure that the chance of damage is as small as possible.'”

1-8-15 The News Virginian.  Pipeline, Education Dominate Town Hall Meeting. “To speak on behalf of his concerned Nelson County constituents, Bell sent a letter to Dominion asking the company to consider an alternative route that would completely bypass Nelson and Augusta counties. He called the current route ‘unhealthy’ for Nelson’s topography.  ‘I have asked them to strongly consider that alternative route,’ he said.”  Delegate Dickie Bell said he has strongly asked Dominion to consider alternative right-of-ways. That’s one thing we should be able to expect from ALL of our representatives. Another is that they should ALL be working to ensure due process—that means no surveying BEFORE public good is determined and requiring a critical look at all of Dominion’s assertions rather than giving them a pass at every turn.

1-7-15 NBC 29.  State Intervening in Federal Pipeline Lawsuits.  “Attorney Neal Walters represents the five property owners in the Nelson case. ‘To say, well we have to defend this one because if we don’t a bunch of other bad laws will be taken off the book, if I was the attorney general, I’d say let’s get all the bad laws off the book,’ he said.  Walters argues the law conflicts with the eminent domain constitutional amendment approved by Virginia voters in 2012. ‘The real issue in this case is about private property rights. It’s about the right to say I own private property, I don’t want people here,’ he stated.”

1-7-15 C-VILLE Weekly.  Landowners Respond to Dominion Pipeline Survey Lawsuits.  “Why such staunch opposition among Blue Ridge-area landowners? Kimble said she thinks rural Nelson County in particular is full of people who care deeply about the place they live, whether they were born and never left, or came seeking a place apart, as she did in 1989.  ‘Most of the people who come here are looking to live lightly on the land and protect it,’ said Kimble. ‘That’s exactly why we all live here—because we love the land.’”

1-7-15 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Hinkle: Should Dominion Get to Walk All Over Property Rights?  Opinion piece by A. Barton Hinkle. “After the Supreme Court’s execrable decision in Kelo v. New London, Virginians enthusiastically endorsed a constitutional amendment reinforcing the rights of property owners. The state constitution now stipulates that the right to property is ‘fundamental’ and that eminent domain must be exercised only for strictly public uses — not for private benefit or even ‘economic development.’ Moreover, it stipulates that ‘The condemnor bears the burden of proving that the use is public, without a presumption that it is,’ and that a public service company can exercise the condemnation power only ‘when such exercise is for the authorized provision of utility … services.’ So far, the Atlantic Coast pipeline is only proposed — not authorized…. We don’t yet know whether the Atlantic Coast pipeline will receive federal approval, so we don’t yet know whether it qualifies as a truly public need. Until it does, Dominion should not have the kind of power generally reserved to entities that have the consent of the governed.”

1-5-15 Public News Service: Serious Pipeline Battle Brewing in the Shenandoah Valley. “‘It’s a huge groundswell of community support against the pipeline,’ says Sorrells. ‘I served eight years as an elected official and I’ve never, ever seen such a coming together of the community.’… Sorrells says Dominion has been ‘used to getting their own way’ in the region. But she says the ‘bullying’ has alienated many near the border of West Virginia. ‘It’s not just a liberal issue, it’s not just a conservative issue,’ she says. ‘Dominion drew a straight line, and they’re sticking by their straight line, and that means little regard for the people in their path.'”

1-4-15 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Gas Pipeline Faces Mountain of Opposition in Western Virginia. “Nelson and Augusta have become the principal battlegrounds in the political debate, which has prompted thousands of anti-pipeline signs to sprout along roads and driveways, the sides of barns, and even hay bales in the two scenic counties on either side of the Blue Ridge Mountains…. Opponents argue that Dominion should route more of the pipeline along existing utility and road rights of way, which currently account for only 4 percent of the 300-foot-wide study corridor on the 554-mile route.  ‘They can do it, but they won’t,’ said William Little, a Staunton native and lawyer who is being aided by Richmond attorney Nicholas A. Hurston in his lawsuit. ‘It’s all about money. … Their profit is my loss.'”

1-3-15 Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Property Rights Emerge as Powerful Issue in Pipeline’s Path. “The property-rights issue is paramount for two state senators who represent the areas affected by the proposed route.  ‘I support the pipeline, but I don’t support the path they’ve chosen, and I don’t support the use of eminent domain unless they’re doing something for rural Virginia,’ said Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., R-Augusta.  Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, one of four senators to vote against the Wagner bill initially, said he does not think the law is constitutional.  ‘The property-rights issue is very real,’ Deeds said.”

1-3-15.  WSET.  “Ban the Grinch Rally” Supports No Pipeline. Thanks to Free Nelson for organizing and to everyone else who showed up–you made this coverage possible which shares our concerns with a much larger audience!

1-1-15 Staunton News Leader:  Dominion seeks support from outside Augusta. Dominion must have realized how bad their invitations to supporters in counties outside the route looked to spin like this.

1-1-15 Nelson County Times: Pipeline is another Camille. Letter to the Editor by life-long Nelson resident Elizabeth Purvis Shepard. (Scroll down past the letter supporting the pipeline!). The newspaper published a slightly edited version; the original version is here. A similar letter was sent to FERC, see our Letters to FERC Web page.

1-1-15 Sanford Herald [NC]:  Editorial:  Pipeline of prosperity not all it seems.  “Dominion’s decision to go around Sanford wasn’t out of sympathy for a community now facing the reality of hundreds of tons of coal ash being dumped on it. No, it was strictly a financial decision because as a private company, Dominion will have to compensate landowners who are in the way of the pipeline. And to bring the pipeline through the expensive real estate in Wake County on its way to Sanford is something Dominion wants to avoid.”