Important Letter by Carol Nix in Morgantown Dominion Post
Edited from the Letter by Carol Nix, Morgantown Dominion Post, January 16, 2017
So, which one is it? Almost heaven or almost hell?
You’ve seen the acres of green plastic-coated pipe piling up along the west bank of the Monongahela River, you’ve seen the trains bringing more every day, and maybe you know that it will be used for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
But did you know that this pipeline hasn’t even been approved yet? Can you smell a rubber stamp? Did you know that it’s designed to carry West Virginia gas to an export terminal in Norfolk, Va.? And to an out-of-state power plant? That none of that gas will be for West Virginians’ use? That the pipeline will cut through the Monongahela National Forest inside a trench 10 feet deep, will cross streams more than 600 times through our steep and scenic mountains.
It will require that trees be cut on a right-of-way wider than a football field, and this will have to be maintained by massive doses of herbicides forever. It will require new access roads through farms and wild forest that trample the rights of wildlife and landowner alike. But the worst effect of this pipeline will be the immediate and horrendous escalation of fracking in our state.
We can expect the gas companies’ profits to go elsewhere, and their waste products to stay right here, their radioactive brines spread on our roadways and pumped into groundwater, “hot” drill cuttings in our landfills, klieg lights, trucks, noise and fumes in every neighborhood.
It takes a lot of gas to fill a 42-inch pipeline 650 miles long. Will West Virginians stand for this? Haven’t we learned anything as the coal companies move on, leaving our streams acidic and lifeless, our mountains flat and our miners pensionless?
Our Native American brothers in North Dakota showed us how to fight for what we love. They stood up against another pipeline and are, for the moment, winning.
Climate change is real, and methane is just another fossil fuel. A real transition to renewable energy is possible and necessary, and other countries are doing just that. This pipeline locks us into backwardness, and maybe even annihilation.
It is not in the best interests of West Virginia or the atmosphere. Will we have the courage of those Native Americans in the Dakotas, or will we be rubber stamped upon? Make your voice heard, the choice is ours —almost heaven or almost hell?
>>> Carol Nix, Independence, WV