This is a piece of astounding falsehoods. Gas pipelines are not safe, clean, nor quiet. They hold the potential to leak to air, water, and land. Remember the explosion at Sissonville and the destruction there. The attendant compressor stations for pipelines are relentlessly noisy and hold the same potential for leaks and ruptures.
Also amazingly untrue is the characterization of opponents as “small local grinches”. The growing and many groups of opposition range in membership from farmers to university professors to blue collar working landowners to black church congregations and more.
It is ridiculous to say that pipeline opponents do not want others to have jobs. How could the joblessness of others possibly be of benefit to any of us? Furthermore, it is totally false to say that clean energy is not wanted…it is just that the most moderate of research will find that natural gas is not clean, indeed it is only very marginally less polluting than coal. Plenty of communities in other places and other countries are thriving without gas and coal. Here in WV and the US, news of such successes is scarce, due to the outsized influence of fuel industries on print and television reporting.
Repeatedly, in court, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been shown to have falsely inflated its statements of “need”. Its promoters have demonstrated their own callousness toward people of modest means through their attempts to squash public input.
The Chamber of Commerce is hardly a credible source. It is, however, backed by long-entrenched corporate interests whose agenda is not the welfare of working men and women, but rather that of greed and gain for the moneyed few.
This “Grinch” piece ends by urging streamlined permitting, which would allow even fewer local landowners and concerned citizens to research project plans and try to determine impacts upon their own properties and communities.
Joe Manchin, and anyone truly interested in the wellbeing of workers and the stability of energy, would do well to seek out those of us who have a well-founded skepticism of the mega-lines and the rush to ram them through. Listen to our stories. Listen to those who stand to lose their family farm, their community church, their chance for long-term and not short-term employment, their peace of mind, and a future for their grandchildren. We who live in the “Who-ville”-type locations that are in the path of the unwarranted pipelines know who the Grinches are. It is not us.
Note: This originally appearead in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. It was provoked by an editorial in the Charleston Daily Mail. That editorial said, in a nutshell, that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was a good idea and that the small number of “Grinches” who opposed it should shut up and quit preventing jobs, energy, and prosperity from coming to West Virginia.