Nearly everyone who lives in or owns property in the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has an opinion. Generally a strong one.
The proposed $5 billion, 550-mile natural gas pipeline that Dominion hopes to have in place by 2016 will clearly have an impact on the area if passed–whether that impact is a positive one or not, is the source of contention.
The four major energy companies spearheading the project– Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources – have invested a lot of time and, well, energy trying to convince area residents that the pipeline will benefit the region. That the project will provide a reliable source of natural gas, curtail spikes in consumers’ energy costs, and provide jobs.
Opponents in Virginia voice concern about the possible consequences of the 42” pipeline – environmental impact on water supplies, the native habitat of animal species, destruction of iconic scenery, and property values. Also at issue is whether the Karst topography of the land can safely support the structure.
Recent natural gas explosions brought the issue to the attention of the national media. “Natural gas transmission is relatively safe but that is like saying that flying is safe until your plane goes down,” said U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee chair Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, following the 2012 explosion in his state.
Letters dated February 23rd, the same day opponents protested and 10 were arrested in the state’s capital, informed 186 additional Nelson County property owners that surveying of their land will begin Monday March 2nd. Residents across the Valley are refusing to allow surveyors on their land and continue to organize to stop the pipeline. If you have received a letter and do not wish to allow surveyors on your property, there are lines set up to verbally deny permission.
Neither side is backing down. Dominion is releasing information daily to try to allay the concerns of citizens and tout the effort as a boon to the economic development, state and local revenue, and domestic energy supplies.
Whatever your thoughts and concerns, I urge you to stay abreast of developments and how they will impact you and your property. Become an advocate for yourself and the place you call home.