Sacred Corn Harvest Celebration in 2015

Cowboy & Indian Alliance to Plant “Seeds of Resistance” Ponca Corn on Land in Paths of Atlantic Coast & Mountain Valley Fracked Gas Pipelines

Press Release from April Keating, Mountain Lakes Preservation Association, May 25, 2016

RE: ACP & MVP Natural Gas Pipelines. [Large-diameter, high-pressure, long-distance, eminent –domain,  national-forests, public-risks, explosion-hazards & water pollution.]

WHAT: Public Gatherings of Concern.         WHEN: June 6 to June 8 (near Weston),

WHERE: Stuarts Draft VA (10am) — Wingina, VA (3pm) (Monday, June 6th) — Boones Mill, VA (9am) — Lafayette, VA (3pm) (Tuesday, June 7th) — Union, WV (9am) (Wednesday, June 8th) — Weston, WV (4pm). (Wednesday, June 8th)

The people who helped to bring an end to the Keystone XL, Bold Nebraska, are coming to West Virginia to stand in solidarity with local landowners affected by the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. They will be planting “sacred corn” seeds along the route of the two pipelines. Between June 6 and 8, the group will stop at 4 locations in Virginia and 2 in West Virginia.

Jane Kleeb, organizer from Nebraska, and Mekasi Camp, a native of the Ponca tribe of Oklahoma, are making the journey down to support those in West Virginia who stand against the proposed pipeline projects. “We’re going to stand together with the cowboys—the ranchers and farmers,” said Mekasi Horinek Camp. “Together our families will plant sacred Ponca corn as seeds of resistance to these risky fracked gas pipelines. As the corn grows it will stand strong for us, to help us protect and keep Mother Earth safe for our children. We stand with the pipeline fighters.”

“Actions, like planting the Ponca corn, show the strength and commitment of people standing up to Big Gas and their reckless pipelines,” said Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance President. “Using eminent domain for private gain is something the Cowboy and Indian Alliance stands against. We plan on using actions, prayer and all legal tools available to stop these risky pipelines.”

“We are looking at 6 new, high-pressure, large-diameter gas pipelines running through West Virginia. Not only are they not needed, but they are going to prove disaster for the region’s water, air, soil, and economy,” says April Keating of Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance. “We are already seeing landowner rights trampled, property values threatened, and a general disregard for the rights and health of human beings. Methane leakage is contributing hugely to global warming. If these pipelines go in, we will be locked into the same approach we’ve been suffering from for over a century.”

The gathering is to be hosted at the homestead of Tom and Becky Berlin, of Lewis County. Their farm is threatened by the ACP, but the MVP is only a few miles to the west of them. The 36” Stonewall-Momentum line, a much less heavily regulated gas line, was recently buried only a few hundred feet from their front door, and 25 feet from their property line. Construction from this intrastate line has already disturbed their peace of mind and their property values.

Tom is a retired environmental science professor and forester, his wife Becky a retired health professional. They have been actively engaged in protecting and stewarding the environment since the late 1960s. Tom says of the project, “We are supporting this planting project as a statement of solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the nation and world who are fighting against a system that is based on continuous and accelerating extraction of the wealth of the Earth to the detriment of local individuals, communities, and ecosystems, and the benefit of a few powerful and wealthy.”

Parking will be available near or adjacent to Tom Berlin’s 100-acre farm at 1833 Left Millstone Rd., Weston, WV 26452. Email for directions.

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Stonewall Pipeline job left unfinished in WV -- Spring 2016

Push for Pipelines – Part 1

From an Article by Bill Hughes, OVEC, January 27, 2016

For anyone who has even casually followed Marcellus and Utica shale gas exploration and production, here in the active gas fields of West Virginia or south-western Pennsylvania or Ohio, you know there are many concerns surrounding the complete natural gas production process, such as air pollution, water consumption and contamination, waste disposal, heavy big rig traffic on little roads and more.

We know that after all well pad construction traffic and the drilling and fracturing are done we must have pipelines. The pipes are needed to get the gas to compressor stations, gas processing plants and hopefully to get most of it far out of Wetzel County, WV and send it to the east, and to the far, far east. Really, Far East.

According to the gas companies we need lots of pipelines, including some really big ones. The gas industry seems to be convinced that the silver bullet to improve their operations and to achieve some semblance of stability and profitability is to increase “take away capacity.” Which means, to start in Wetzel County, and maybe some other nearby tri-state counties and start building pipelines. BIG PIPELINES. Get the gas out of Wetzel County, sell it elsewhere and we are told, that, then, all will be well.

A photo shows the congested collection of EQT pipe assemblies in downtown Mobley, WV, the birth-place of pipelines. EQT is in the midst of acquiring land in the area. While we do not like to see residents displaced for any amount of money, at this point no one should be living in this valley anymore, especially young kids.

Proposed Pipeline Problems

One of the newer, very large diameter (42”) proposed gas pipelines is the Mountain Valley Pipeline, originating at the village of Mobley here in eastern Wetzel County and the extending south-east through the national forests and over the Appalachian Mountains, on to Virginia.

(Other proposed pipelines in our area include the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Mountaineer Xpress and the WB XPress. The Stonewall Gathering Pipeline is already constructed.)

What could go wrong? After all, maybe the hydraulic fracturing with high pressure and high volumes of slick water in deep, long laterals was an ongoing new experiment, done live here for eight years with the resident Guinea Pigs in Wetzel County.

But we know how to build pipelines, don’t we? That is pretty basic, tried and true and understood technology, right. Well, yes; at least when compared to the fracturing process. The equipment, knowledge, and skill sets needed for pipeline construction is readily available and more commonly understood.

So, what could go wrong ? Glad you asked. Let me tell you.

Pipeline opponents express concern about habitat fragmentation, crossing of pristine streams and rivers, slipping and erosion, spills, diesel fumes, gas leaks and possible fires and explosions. These are all very valid concerns. But the potential for other errors—from very simple to potentially serious can be shown clearly in my hay field here at home. How can that be?

Well, almost two years ago, EQT wanted to survey my property for their proposed 30-inch diameter Ohio Valley Connector pipeline. The application for it has now been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The project’s FERC docket number is CP15-41-000.

The below map shows a section of the EQT Ohio Valley Connector as proposed almost two years ago. The red outlined area is our property here in Wetzel County. The yellow line shows the proposed path of the 30-inch pipeline through our land. It is an example of what one of the initially proposed routes would look like. It would have gone right through my hay field, and through and under our stream. Multiple routes were being explored at first.

Let’s temporarily set aside both the short- and long-term, specific and valid concerns of those who might oppose these large, high-pressure, big-diameter pipelines. What else could go wrong? We shall see. We will use my recent personal experience as a clear-cut, detailed and documented example of how a perfectly and professionally surveyed location on my home property contained an error of almost one mile. Yes, you read that right. How was our home, farm and property the target of a pipeline surveying error of more than 4,000 feet?

We must explain the contradiction of how two perfectly placed surveyor pins missed the mark by almost a mile. And, we wonder, could this happen again?

To find out, read Push for Pipelines – Part 2, here.

See also:


The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition [OVEC] Challenge Grant

May 26, 2016

Janet Keating Retiring, So OVEC is Hiring — OVEC’s long-time Executive Director Janet Keating will retire this fall. So, OVEC is hiring a new ED. They are taking applications until June 1. Click here for all the info you need to apply, or to share this info with a potential candidate for the job. Help [...]

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Update: The Future of Fossil-Fuel Divestment

May 25, 2016

It’s an age-old tension between radicalism and reform made more urgent by the existential threat of climate change. From an Article by Chloe Maxmin, The Nation, May 18, 2016 At 11 pm on a cold Wednesday in February 2014, bleary-eyed Divest Harvard members gathered to discuss the campaign’s future. The group, which calls on Harvard [...]

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The Fracking Narrative is Open for Discussion

May 24, 2016

No Science, Please, for Fracking Commentary by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor and Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV The human brain is not a reality machine. It is a device for survival in a world where problems must be solved, but exact reality is not needed. Think about all the fantasies in literature, everything [...]

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is Biased in Favor of Pipeline Companies

May 23, 2016

FERC is Called “Biased Against Local Concerns” From an Article by Dan Heyman, WV Public News Service, May 23, 2016 Charleston, WV — The federal agency that approves or denies gas pipelines is oriented against the concerns of landowners and communities, according to people working on the issues. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will [...]

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Global CO2 Emissions Still Accelerating (As With Methane)

May 22, 2016

The latest greenhouse gas inventory from NOAA shows CO2 and methane ‘going completely in the wrong direction.’ From an Article by Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News, May 19, 2016 The latest greenhouse gas index shows the world is still overwhelming its natural defenses with carbon emissions. Credit: Getty Images The level of carbon dioxide in the [...]

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Second SLAPP Lawsuit Under Review in Butler County PA

May 21, 2016

Pittsburgh-area drilling opponents have their say in court From an Article by Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 20, 2016 It may be spring in Western Pennsylvania, but there’s a new chill in the air in Butler County, where opponents of shale gas drilling and fracking near the Mars School District campus say they feel intimidated [...]

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Update from Greenbrier River Watershed Association

May 20, 2016

Activities Update from the Greenbrier River Watershed Association, May 20, 2016 RE: Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP ): The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is holding scoping meetings, for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline alternative route through central Pocahontas County and into Bath County. The comment deadline is Thursday, June 2.  Public scoping meetings, at which time oral comments can [...]

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Statoil Sells Marcellus Holdings to EQT for $407 Million

May 19, 2016

EQT Paying $407 Million For Acreage in Wetzel, Tyler Counties From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, May 17, 2016 Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. will pay Norwegian company Statoil $407 million to acquire 62,500 West Virginia Marcellus Shale acres in Wetzel, Tyler and Harrison counties. The deal, with an average acre price of $6,512, also [...]

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