CHANGE.ORG — Standup for Environmental Justice. Stop Fracked-Gas Pipelines in WV, VA, NC Now!

by Duane Nichols on September 4, 2019

This petition to FERC to cancel the ACP & MVP has over 34,000 signatures as of 8/3/19

Petition · Stand up for environmental justice. Stop fracked-gas pipelines in WV, VA, NC now! ·

Progress Not Pipelines started this petition to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Chatterjee, Commissioners Glick and McNamee and 1 other

Ella Rose lives in the blast zone of a massive, dangerous fracked-gas pipeline and compressor proposed just a few hundred feet from her home in a historic black community in rural Virginia.

Paula and Herman Mann live in the blast zone of a different fracked-gas pipeline in West Virginia, and have been living with the nightmare of the project’s ongoing construction that has been tearing up the land around them.

Ella and the Manns are worried about harm to their water supplies and health, to wildlife and the climate. Their worries skyrocketed in July when a similar gas pipeline in Kentucky exploded, killing one person, harming several others and destroying nearby homes.

They are just a few of the thousands of Americans whose lives have been disrupted since the pipelines were proposed five years ago: the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline and 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, both running from West Virginia, through Virginia into North Carolina. Since then, these folks have been fighting tirelessly to protect their homes and families.

Right now, three federal officials have the power to stop the harm. The members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can and should issue a stop-work order for both pipelines immediately.

The pipelines would harm streams, groundwater, air quality, wildlife, rural communities and communities of color, public health, and public lands including the treasured Appalachian Trail. They would increase consumer costs and worsen the climate crisis. They are not even needed — but would yield exorbitant profits for decades for the pipeline builders.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline builders have already violated environmental regulations more than 300 times, causing widespread water pollution. It’s so bad, they are under criminal investigation for Clean Water Act violations. Yet construction continues.

As for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, federal courts have thrown out environmental permits at least six times for being flawed and insufficient, yet the builder recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ram the project through.

FERC should never have allowed these pipelines in the first place — but the agency’s deeply flawed process virtually guaranteed their approval. In fact, FERC has ok’d dozens of dangerous and unnecessary natural gas pipelines across the U.S., putting tens of thousands of Americans in harm’s way. The rights given these companies mean landowners effectively have no property rights! It could happen to anyone unlucky enough to live in the path of a potential pipeline.

But here’s the good news: FERC issued stop-work orders for these two pipelines in the past — and can do so again. But only if we all continue to speak up.

Here are just a few of the reasons why the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines should be halted:

>>> Environmental justice. Both pipelines disproportionately impact lower-income and elderly people, and African-American and Native American communities. In Virginia, Ella lives in Union Hill, founded by freed slaves and still largely populated by their descendants. The proposed compressor station in Union Hill has become a flashpoint in the fight to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, drawing national attention and prompting a visit from Rev. William Barber, II and former Vice President Al Gore to decry the project as a “racist rip-off.” In North Carolina, an estimated 30,000 Native Americans live along the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, including the single largest community of the Lumbee Nation.

>>> Stolen land. Many along the pipeline routes feel that FERC’s broken process allowed the pipeline companies to take their land unjustly. One Virginia family recently found the gate to their land padlocked; other landowners are cut off from sections of their property for months on end by huge open pipeline ditches. A pillar of American democracy is the right to hold private property; the government can take one’s land through eminent domain only if doing so serves the public good and the landowner is compensated. But FERC failed to examine whether the pipelines are needed and instead simply took the companies’ word for it, ignoring multiple independent studies showing the pipelines are not needed to provide electricity in the region.

>>> Climate crisis. Methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the projects — including fracking operations to supply them and the numerous compressor stations along the routes — would exacerbate the climate crisis and lock the region into decades more of dirty fossil fuel dependence even while renewable energy is often as cheap or cheaper than new gas-fired power plants. The two pipelines would emit as much climate pollution as 48 coal-fired power plants.

Please sign this petition today!

Urge FERC to stop work on both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline immediately — and help turn the tide on the fracked-gas juggernaut. Our communities, health, environment and climate are at stake.

Thanks for all you do.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Wildfire September 4, 2019 at 9:53 am

One error here–FERC has not okayed dozens of these projects, They have okayed all but two out of over 300–and those two are back in the docket for another try.

Another thing that ought to be emphasized is the financial scam. When people lose property by eminent domain, it’s supposed to be justified by the public need, the public good. But there is not a domestic need for this gas; the actual need is on the part of gas drillers and frackers, who have been in the red through the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.”

They need higher prices so they can pay their creditors. The pipelines offer two avenues to higher prices: first, while FERC doesn’t mention it and neither do the companies in public speech, the big word in industry conferences is “export.” The price is much higher abroad.

It’s no guarantee though, as our gas once compressed and shipped and readied for trucking, is going to cost considerably more than it does here, and will have to compete with Russian and Middle Eastern sources. So is the “public need” a need of the public in Europe or Asia?

Not good enough when your land is being taken and you’re forced to live next to all the disruption of installing a pipeline, and then the concerns about leaks, explosions and fires. More so if some of those places “need” our gas because they aren’t about to damaged their OWN land with fracking.

But the harm done to those in the vicinity of pipeline only starts with this. Next is that if they are gas customers, a new pipeline will NOT bring them cheaper gas as the companies claim — far from it.

Their costs will likely go up, for two reasons. One is that the point of the pipelines is to relieve the glut of gas from the Marcellus. The glut is keeping the price low — once it runs down the pipes to points south, east and north, the price will naturally rise. Secondly, the pipeline builders get a sweet cost-plus deal from FERC — they get to charge their ratepayers for every cent of their costs plus 14 or 15% profit. I wonder whether they get to include the cost of fines, and add 14% to that?

Mary Wildfire, Roane County, WV


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