April 2017 News

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.