by Duane Nichols on September 21, 2022

Residual Waste is toxic brine, as with the diesel truck exhaust gases

Silence about Manchin and the MVP is Compliance with Violence

From an Article by Michael Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, September 18, 2022
WESTON, W.Va. – We read in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything, including a time to be silent and a time to speak. By now, I had hoped to be silent. As a pensioner, I was hoping to hang out with my family, do some hiking, and to travel a bit. In short, I’m just trying to live a peaceful life. The only problem is that corruption and violence are so rampant that they can’t be ignored.

Silence in the face of violence is compliance with it. (To hear a beautiful take on that notion, listen to “Medicine” by the Americana band Rising Appalachia). So my season of silence is over.

For nearly a decade, before I tried to step back a few months ago, I had written more than 100 articles about the public health, safety and environmental dangers of fracking and related pipeline development. I’ve also written about Mountaintop Removal and efforts by environmental activists to protect the pristine Appalachian Mountains. What West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and his fossil fuel cronies have inflicted upon the people and land of West Virginia and Virginia in attempting to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is nothing short of a violent assault upon the people and land.

In building the now-abandoned Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the MVP, energy companies EQT, Duke Energy and Dominion and their subcontractors have been ruthless, as the articles below reveal. (Note: some links within articles may no longer be valid). This collective chronicle of the gas industry’s tactics reveal deceit, threats and destruction. The MVP remains uncompleted only because of the people in its path. A coalition of individuals and groups have stalled it primarily through successful legal and regulatory challenges, not to mention dogged determination.

These articles – the first published Aug. 4 2014 – demonstrate what a roller-coaster ride of emotions and betrayal landowners and environmentals have experienced. They succeeded in shutting down the ACP and had the MVP on the ropes. Investors were nervous.

However, it appeared that all of that work against the MVP may have been undone in a behind-closed-doors deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin to get Manchin’s essential vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. That deal was supposed to streamline the permitting process for the MVP.

However, E&E News Energy Wire is reporting that may not be enough to salvage the beleaguered and long-delayed project. According to the article, a primary obstacle may be legislation announced and sponsored by West Virginia’s other Senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito. The Republican proposal is picking up bi-partisan support. The E&E News article details how legal and regulatory challenges could still derail the MVP should the proposal pass, as it would not allow the MVP to bypass judicial review.

Though this is hopeful news, this fight is far from over. There is simply too much money changing hands. So, keep up with this story and support any effort to thwart the shady dealings of Schumer and Manchin.

These articles would not have been possible without the cooperation of my family and the subjects of the articles. They are the brave souls willing to share their stories, allowing me insight, facts and documents to support my enterprise and investigative reporting; additionally, contributions from other writers have served to enrich our reporting.

So, while it may take you a while, please read through our past articles. You will see that the fossil fuel industry hasn’t changed tactics in over a century. Only this time, instead of using Baldwin-Felt thugs to do their dirty work as they did during the West Virginia Mine Wars in the early 1920s, today’s energy executives hatch their plots on Manchin’s “Almost Heaven” yacht moored on the Potomac River.

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