Stand up for environmental justice. Stop fracked-gas pipelines in WV, VA, NC now!
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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, courts have thrown out seven crucial environmental permits for being flawed and insufficient, yet the builder has 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 hundreds 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.
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