To the Editor,
A recent Facebook posting from a resident along the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline stated that she was looking out at the mountain near her home, and wondering if this was the last time she would see the beautiful view. The ugly scar of tree clearing is starting for the ACP, and for her, for us, and for tens of thousands, some of our most beautiful views will be lost forever if this project continues.
The ACP didn’t have to do this to us. They could have collocated the pipeline with existing cleared rights of way, some of which they already own. In fact, they ignored a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission directive to do just that, and the commission still approved the project.
As with property values, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is once again complicit in this immoral and unjust act of aggression. The federal Natural Gas Act 18 C.F.R. 380.15 states that the siting and construction of natural gas facilities shall be undertaken in a way that avoids or minimizes effects on scenic, historic, wildlife, and recreational values. Beheading, flattening, denuding and scarring our wooded Appalachian Mountains, including 38 miles of scenic ridgetops, does not avoid nor minimize effects on scenic values. It assaults them and maximizes the loss.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental impact statement conjures up the argument that we won’t be able to see the ravaged ridgetops. We see them every day. It also states that our area is remote and sparsely populated, as if the law is waived for us. The law is not waived in our area. It was written specifically for areas like ours. The commission may very well be in violation of federal law on this, and other issues. If they are, they should be punished.
This is yet example of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the ACP consistently ignoring the devastating impacts that this pipeline would bring to citizens of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. We the people share a common bond in resisting this attack on our civil liberties, and we will not relent in defending our land, our water, our climate, and the safety of our families.
Warm Springs, Va.