ACP and MVP Should Be Permanently Halted — TNC Goes Off the Rails (Again)

by admin on August 14, 2018

It takes a strong commitment to protect & preserve what we have!

Response to: “Natural Gas Companies Team With Environmental Group”

An article of this title recently ran in the Wheeling Intelligencer. It represents a cave in by a significant environmental group that give the business oriented Intelligencer some thing to brag about. It is unlikely the report, “Improving Steep-Slope Pipeline Construction to Reduce Impacts to Natural Resources,” will meet the needs of our steep and rocky terrain.

It will be applied to the entire range of conditions from the soft soil and rock on the Appalachian Plateau through the folded Appalachian Mountains to the south and east. Through limestone karst, famous for caves and sinkholes and slopes up to and beyond 173% (60 degrees).

In places the fill will be the broken rock cut out to make the trench. This will make it impossible to divert the water off the right of way. It will divert water to flow down the broken rock in the ditches. In other places the long pipeline straight down the hill for hundreds of feet will have diversion ditches that deliver the diverted water off the right of way in additive fashion so large volumes will be aggregated in heavy rains. Pipelines in karst is asking for failure due to cave-ins and stream diversion.

If the pipe must go in, what is required is meticulous attention to local topography and geology and equally meticulous attention to small scale engineering. This is unlikely to occur due to the great cost involved.

The Nature Conservancy is doubtless well intentioned, but really not directed by people close to conditions involved.

>>> S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV


Brief Comment on TNC Pipeline Project —

This is why I consider TNC foremost among the Shady Lady environmental groups, to put it politely.

They also collaborated with the gas industry on a study of how much methane leaks, with findings coming out much lower than independent studies. Looks to me like they aid industry much more than the environment, with this attitude that the pipelines must and will be built so we should do what we can to minimize the harm.

As far as I’m concerned, their main mission to collect funds to buy land which they then protect from development, is no better — I’ve seen allegations that they don’t always protect their lands and anyway this reinforces the idea that the rich legitimately own the Earth, and if we want any of it protected we have to buy it back from them.

>>> Mary Wildfire, Roane County, WV


We might also consider this —

I believe TNC has a conservation easement that will be crossed by MVP and one of their motivators for this was to hold the company to a higher standard where they could, for their property.

Amy Mall, Land & Wildlife Program, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)


Letter to The TNC Magazine (August 13, 2018)

I am a retired mining engineer (B.S.; M.S.; P.E.) living in Rockingham County Virginia. I am writing in response to a “study” I just became aware of entitled “IMPROVING STEEP-SLOPE PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION TO REDUCE IMPACTS TO NATURAL RESOURCES” (link here).

This study was apparently a collaboration between the Nature Conservancy and 8 oil and gas companies. It’s unfortunate the input was so heavily weighted in favor of the companies that will profit from doing this type of work by externalizing the environmental costs to the public.

Your “study” seems to over simplify the issues involved in constructing a major natural gas pipeline through steep mountainous terrain, much of it containing karst. It fails to mention more active measures for monitoring pipeline stress and the installation of strain and displacement gages on and around the pipeline. Even with such measures, however, the construction of pipelines like the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast will cause significant and irreversible environmental damage. It will also cause significant economic losses to the people whose land is crossed by or near to the pipelines.

The installation of such fracked gas pipelines will also act as a driving force for further fracking of deep shale formations, which will cause even more environmental damage.

Your participation in the preparation of this document will be seen as a sellout and betrayal of the thousands of people who are opposed to such pipelines and whose lives will be so negatively impacted by them. I am disappointed in the position your organization has taken.

George M. Neall III, Rockingham County, Virginia


Dear Friends,

I think any time you have a very large organization—and TNC is the largest environmental non-profit in the country if not the world—that does thousands of transactions and works globally, there are going to be problems that surface, whether they’re falsehoods, misunderstandings or actual wrongdoings. I know there have been misunderstandings when people have left land to TNC in their wills or by a donation while they’re living, with the incorrect assumption that TNC would manage the land as a nature preserve of sorts.

Like any company, TNC has to decide where to best devote its resources. Unless they’ve made a specific agreement with a donor to hold and manage their land a certain way, they are more likely to divest themselves of that asset and put the money toward higher-value conservation areas such as the rainforests or coral reefs.

They also have to make decisions regarding if and how they’ll work with industry. My experience has been that, right or wrong, they feel they can make more headway working with industry than against them. Their CEO is a former Goldman Sachs director, and not a conservation biologist, so that may sway how the organization makes decisions.

My gut tells me that TNC does far and away more good work than they get credit for.

Disclaimer: We have no relationship with TNC—and certainly no monetary relationship—besides jointly holding one conservation easement with them in Bedford County, VA, and running in some of the same professional circles as their Virginia staff.

David C. Perry, Executive Director
Blue Ridge Land Conservancy—An Accredited Land Trust
722 First St. SW Suite L, Roanoke, VA 24016
(540) 985-0000,

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cynthia D. Ellis August 14, 2018 at 9:24 am

Dear Friends,

I remember this squawk about TNC and birds and oil in Texas.


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