Climate Change Resists Narrative, Yet the Alphabet Prevails (A to Z): Now P!

by admin on January 16, 2023

The ACP and MVP at 42 inches and 300 miles were too damaging to hills, valleys, farms, forests, rivers, creeks and wetlands

“P” = Pipelines Making News About Fossil Fuels

>> RE: “Fractured Sanctuary: A Chronicle of Grassroots Activitists Fighting Pipelines of Destruction in Appalachia” by Michael Barrick, January 12, 2023

‘From Almost Heaven to Almost Hell’ ~ Containing articles written between 2014 and 2022, it is an account of reluctant, citizen activists who rose up organically in grassroots resistance to the natural gas industry as it has attempted to complete two, 42” pipelines carrying natural gas hundreds of miles through the Appalachian Mountains from the fracking fields of northern West Virginia, southwest Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

It is a first draft of a chapter in a history that is old. The fossil fuel industry has siphoned off billions of dollars of wealth – timber, oil, coal, gas – from Appalachia for well over a century, benefiting corporations, but devastating people and the earth.

Indeed, the experience of dealing with the gas companies and dangers of the pipelines led one longtime resident of Lewis County, West Virginia to leave the state. When doing so, she said the state had gone “from Almost Heaven to Almost Hell.”

Thousands of people agree with her. This books captures just a few of their stories. Their fight is not over. The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) intends to complete construction by the second half of this year. Powerful interests and people have invested far too much on the project to surrender just yet. The same is true with the activists; they have lost far too much to the MVP to surrender now.

So, these accounts, taken together, can be used as a playbook for citizens wishing to ally themselves with MVP opponents and other grassroots activists working to mitigate the effects of the climate emergency in Appalachia – while there is still time.

We will soon share additional details regarding signings, town hall-style meetings and other ways to hear the stories, and if you wish, purchase the book. So, please check back soon or go ahead and subscribe so that you can receive every article we publish. There is no cost for the subscription. Simply enter your email address in the “Follow” box at the top right hand side of the page. January 12, 2023 – MMB.


Update Article: Amended Forest Service guidelines could remove Mountain Valley Pipeline roadblock, Roanoke Times, December 23, 2022

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests have issued a revised environmental impact statement that could remove a major obstacle to completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed new construction guidelines that, if adhered to, would enable the 303-mile intrastate natural gas pipeline to traverse a 3.5-mile section of the Jefferson National Forest in Giles and Montgomery counties, the project’s final missing link.

The revised environmental impact statement considered two alternatives. One would have taken no action to revise the regulations, which could have dealt the controversial project a potential death blow. It would have required the project to remove sections of pipe currently stored above ground and to restore soil and vegetation altered by digging or timbering.

The second alternative, which the Forest Service has recommended, would “allow for the construction, operation, and maintenance” of the pipeline. (This would permit a 600 foot long borehole under the Appalachian Trail.)

….more at …..

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle De La Cancela January 16, 2023 at 10:01 am

Game over for the Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Elle De La Cancela, Virginia Mercury, January 5, 2023

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is 0-4 on first down conversions. The red zone is nowhere in sight, and the clock is running out. Why are people still betting on this team?

MVP is a monstrous, 303-mile fracked-gas pipeline planned to run through the Blue Ridge and Appalachian regions of Virginia and West Virginia, all the way to North Carolina. It would boost the bottom line of fossil fuel companies at the expense of regional clean water and endangered species. It would require up to four new compressor stations, facilities that keep the gas pressurized as it travels. The pipeline would also cut through about five miles of the Jefferson National Forest and bisect the iconic Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway.

MVP was thrust into the national spotlight in August, when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, made a closed-door agreement to advance Manchin’s priorities in exchange for a vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. Not only would this dirty deal greenlight MVP, the carbon equivalent of 26 new coal plants, it would also limit judicial oversight and gut bedrock federal environmental law. Before Manchin’s proposed legislation even hit the floor in September, he was forced to pull the language. He simply didn’t have the votes, so his first legislative pass was incomplete.

Manchin returned this December for another try – this time targeting the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). However, House and Senate progressives continued their vocal opposition and, again, the language was stripped before it hit the floor for a vote.

Next, Schumer agreed to tack on a version of Manchin’s demands as an amendment to the NDAA. When brought to a vote in the Senate, Manchin still came up short. He made one final Hail Mary attempt, as he tried to push the MVP into another must-pass budget bill right before Christmas. That too failed, and 2022 closed with no gain for the MVP.

A fossil-fuel fan might say that MVP is due for a comeback. But history has shown that the Mountain Valley Pipeline cannot make good on its promises. Since construction began, MVP has racked up 300-plus violations of existing permits across West Virginia and Virginia. These violations have had devastating impacts on local ecosystems and people who live along the route. The company continues to peddle to its investors the false narrative that MVP is almost finished, while outside reports show the project is barely over halfway complete. Which part of the construction still needs to happen? The steepest and most treacherous terrain.

Construction, however, is off the table completely for at least another year. Why? Because seven years after construction began, MVP still lacks critical permits. MVP is still in court for violations of the Endangered Species Act and a challenge to a certificate of need from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, issued back in 2020. The company is on a third rewrite of a permit to cross the Jefferson National Forest after prior versions violated federal forest management standards. The Forest Service anticipates a final permit this summer, but MVP will likely face legal challenges to this permit (if it is granted) and the company would have to finish all construction to ensure its promised 2023 operation date.

If this was the NFL, the fantasy leagues would be hedging their bets. Somehow NextEra Energy and other Wall Street gamblers keep putting their money on a failing team, a failing project and failing legislative attempts. When investors originally bought in, they didn’t expect the continually rising cost. MVP is now billions of dollars over budget, currently topping $6 billion – and the price continues to balloon with permit rewrites and lawyer fees. Given that renewable energy sources are far less expensive, why are lawmakers and utilities trying to resuscitate a dying industry?

To be fair, this MVP team is number one in something: cost per mile. It’s the most expensive pipeline project ever!

With every failed congressional endeavor, the stock of Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN), MVP’s parent company, takes a dip – ranging from 3 to 8%. ETRN and Roanoke Gas have recorded several multimillion dollar impairment charges over the last year alone, but the bettor’s sunk-cost fallacy wins against reason. In its earnings calls this past quarter, ETRN outlined the “hostility” of the courts and the company’s reliance on congressional intervention to complete the project. With sine die in sight, the legislative pathway is closing. MVP now has to stand on its own merits.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is down $6 billion with seconds on the clock in overtime. Even casual viewers can see that the game is over. MVP has lost. Gamblers should cut their losses while they still can.

>>> Elle De La Cancela serves as the Central Virginia Campaign Coordinator for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and leads the organization’s No New Fossil Fuels work. Previously, she worked on an election and for two federal land agencies: the National Park Service and the National Forest Service.



Elizabeth Kolbert January 16, 2023 at 10:13 pm

P is Power. (The Power Grid is Our Interconnected Electricity Pipeline) by Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, November 28, 2022

The U.S.’s power grid has been called “the largest machine ever built by man.” It comprises more than eleven thousand generating plants, more than six hundred thousand miles of high- voltage transmission lines, and some six million miles of distribution lines.

Several recent studies claim to show that decarbonizing the grid in the nearish future is feasible. All of them, as per Smil, involve a certain amount of “science fiction”; they describe what is technically possible while glossing over the potential barriers to implementation.

These barriers, though, are myriad. Some are economic, some are legal, some are logistical, some are political, and some, to paraphrase Polonius, are legal-logistical or economic-legal-logistical-political.


Kathleen Tyner January 17, 2023 at 11:07 am

New Year, Same Old Problems for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, West Virginia Rivers, January 17, 2023

We’re now in 2023, 9 years after the Mountain Valley Pipeline was first proposed, and the project remains in limbo. Pipeline opponents received an early Christmas present towards the end of December when congressional approval for the MVP failed to make it into any end-of-the-year spending bills.

But the issue is far from over, the public now has two opportunities to weigh in on the unnecessary and destructive project. After the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated MVP’s approval to cross the Jefferson National Forest and the Appalachian Trail in Monroe County, WV and Giles County, VA, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) outlining a process to authorize MVP to cross public lands. The public has until February 6 to comment on the draft.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released for public comment MVP’s proposed monitoring and restoration plans for streams and wetlands impacted by construction. Comments are due February 10. WV Rivers staff and partners are in the process of scrutinizing these documents. Be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to voice your opposition of the MVP.


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