Atlantic Coast Pipeline Protests Reach VA Governor’s Mansion

by Duane Nichols on July 26, 2016

March on VA Governor's Mansion

Anti-pipeline protest shifts focus to Governor Terry McAuliffe

From an Article of the Charlottesville Newsplex, CBS News 19, July 23, 2016

Richmond, VA — Hundreds of Virginians braved the heat to march in the streets of Richmond. Anti-pipeline protesters said they wanted to remind everyone how they feel about the pipeline.  [One estimate was over 600 protestors marched on Saturday.]

“It’s our lands, it’s our homes, it’s where we live.” said Pipeline protester Caroline Reilly. “When you have the government operating in a little tight cell in a city, they don’t understand the concerns of rural people.”

Many of the protesters said they have environmental concerns that the pipeline will affect their way of living. Some of those concerns are in their own backyard.

“My husband has asthma and I’m very concerned about the air quality,” said Nelson County land owner Darlene Spears. “I’m very concerned about my well, because it’s only 120 feet from where they’re proposing to put the pipeline.”

At Saturday’s protest marchers targeted their attention to Governor Terry McAuliffe, saying because he won’t come to them, they are coming to him.

“Governor McAuliffe and Senator Kaine, now that he’s in the national spotlight as being a Vice-Presidential nominee,” said Protest Speaker Jane Kleeb. “It’s critical that they see us and that they know we don’t want these pipelines, that it risks not only our land and our water but climate as well.”

Along the journey, they passed by Dominion Virginia Power, chanting even louder. Dominion heard. In a statement to CBS19 a Dominion Spokesperson, Robert Richardson, writes:

“What’s lost here is that Dominion is already one of the cleanest energy companies around and we’re committed to getting even better. You can see that in our solar projects around the country, and our natural gas products. You can see that when we help low income families save money on their energy bills.”

But protesters still say there is no happy medium between a pipeline and their desires. “I don’t think so,” said Spears. “And they’ve actually moved it closer to my house, which makes no sense to me.”

That a private pipeline company can use imminent domain for a private gain goes against the very fabric of America.

A sentiment held firm as they marched all the way to the Governors Mansion.

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