Residents Weigh in on Pipeline

In this March 2, 2018, article from the Franklin News-Post is about Boones Mill residents in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. But what they say about the MVP and how they have been treated by its builders could be said by anyone on the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as well.

“‘The more that you know about this, and we have been going to meetings for three-and-a-half years, the more frightening it is,’ she said. ‘And it’s all negative. Every single bit of it is negative.'” Another landowner said, “‘They said they had the right to do anything they wanted any time they wanted and tried to make it out like they were our friends and they were working in the best interest of everybody,’ he said. He said the letters were full of legal jargon and that ‘it takes a lawyer to figure out what they were talking about and to understand it.’ He and his wife got so fed up that they told MVP any further correspondence has to go through their attorney.”

Then there is the dubious letter-writing campaign. “After getting phone calls purportedly from the Mountain Valley Pipeline asking whether they support the natural gas project, area residents received pre-written letters to the editor in the mail they could then send to the newspaper, according to recent interviews with people involved. At least three people in the region who received such letters in the mail signed and sent the missives for publication, but it’s not clear who actually wrote and originally mailed the correspondence. MVP’s Cox said she wasn’t aware of any such letters.Pittsburgh-based MVP did not claim any knowledge of the letter-writing campaign. …. ‘I am not aware of any letters being sent by landowners/community members at the request of Mountain Valley Pipeline and I can confirm that these letters did not originate from my office,’ Cox said in an email.”

The article also addresses concerns of local law enforcement. “Boones Mill Police Chief Dennis Deacon has not been contacted by MVP, but said he is very aware of the influx of workers and traffic coming into town. ‘I’m worried about the number of people who don’t have roots here and the type of people that follow these camps,’ he said. He said there is an agreement between the police department, the sheriff’s office and Virginia State Police if additional manpower is needed in case there is a disruption in town.”

“[County Supervisor Ronnie] Thompson said it’s hard to prepare for the unknown, and he’s concerned about ‘the big ugly scar that’s going to be cut through our county that’s never going to go away.’ He sees more negative aspects than positives including gas line explosions, family farms being ruined, property values decreasing and pollution of the groundwater — all of the same concerns voiced by some citizens of the town.”

Everything in the article, including the words of the MVP spokesperson (who could easily be interchangeable with ACP spokesperson Aaron Ruby) is very familiar to people in the path of the ACP.