Recent Letters to the Editor

Recent letters to the editor have commented on pipeline-related issues:

Vicki Wheaton’s April 20, 2017, letter in the Farmville Herald 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.

Doug Hornig’s April 22, 2017 letter to the Daily Progress 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.”

Ernie Reed’s April 24, 2017 letter to the Daily Progress 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.”

Burn Your Easement Offer!

Richard Averitt’s video shows him burning the letter he received from Dominion offering easement terms for the proposed ACP route behind his house and also through two acres of a 100-acre plot of land nearby. The terms of the offer to him: $13,180 to allow Dominion and the ACP to have permanent access to the 125-foot swathe through the center of his land that would be cleared to bury the 42-inch high pressure natural gas pipeline, land that would be kept cleared in the future, and whose use by him would be severely restricted. By Dominion’s own calculations, they would in the next 40 years make $1.6 million off the easement acres for which they offered $13,180.

Richard’s challenge: Burn Your Easement offer from Dominion and show Dominion and FERC that we won’t back down! (But please be careful not to start a forest fire! Better to burn in a bucket or fire pit.)

For news reports on Richard’s challenge see coverage in Blue Ridge Life and on Newsplex.


In Case of Emergency….

Describing how Dominion would work with local law enforcement and emergency responders to evacuate people if an ACP “pipeline incident” should occur is only one of the 111 requests FERC has made to Dominion for more specific information and clarification. Many of FERC’s requests for information were items flagged in comments filed about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

Consider the plight of parents of the 430 students in an elementary school that is only 650 feet from the Mariner East 2 pipeline currently under construction in Pennsylvania. They were barred from a meeting between district and township leaders, first responders, and officials from Sunoco Logistics to discuss emergency evacuation plans in the event of a catastrophic explosion or leak.

News of the Week

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.

More than 50 Democratic candidates running for Virginia House seats have pledged not to take contributions from Dominion. In the mean time, Dominion is betting big on two candidates for Governor, Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie.

News just in: In a letter dated April 17, 2017, Energy Transfer Partners (ETK) reported to FERC the spill of over 2 million gallons of drilling fluid onto wetlands in northern Ohio as part of a high density drilling (HDD) operation during constructing the Rover Pipeline. HDD is the process Dominion proposes to use for drilling under the Blue Ridge Parkway at Reeds Gap.  (See our story below on HDD at Reeds Gap.)  Construction on the Rover project began only a month ago, as it received its FERC certificate as one of the final actions before Commissioner Norman Bay resigned, denying FERC a quorum. Not an auspicious start!  See here for Ohio news coverage of the spill.

Tickets Still Available

Tickets are still available for:

People’s Climate March, April 29, 2017: Tickets still available on the Sierra Club-sponsored bus from Charlottesville to DC for the Climate March. See our Events page listing for further information.

Wild Virginia’s annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival showing in Staunton on April 30, 2017.  If you saw the show in Charlottesville or Harrisonburg, there is an all new set of films in Staunton. See the Wild Virginia page for further information.

Non-Violent Direct Action 101

Participate in this engaging and informative workshop to be introduced to the methods and ideas behind non-violent direct action resistance and get primed for more training sessions to come. The workshop will be held on May 7, 2017, noon-4 pm at the Rockfish Valley Community Center.  Snacks and water provided.

Please RSVP to Ben Cunningham so organizers can plan appropriately for attendance. Contact, 434-882-1893. For further information contact Ben or see the the event listing on our Web page and on Facebook.