During 3rd Open House in Nelson, Anti-Pipeliners Mock Politicians “bought and paid for by Dominion”

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    I'm Dick Saslaw photo IMG_0917_zpsfoiiugzi.jpgOn February 23, Dominion Power announced four additional alternate routes in Nelson County for its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), nearly doubling the number of land owners affected. Augusta now has nine possible ACP routes, and Dominion has added one alternate route in Buckingham County.

    Holding an Open House in Nelson for all three counties is a first, especially since we were told by Dominion representatives they didn’t have to hold it all. When landowners complained the maps presented for their use in viewing all these routes were extremely difficult to read, Dominion agreed! Suffice it to say, the anti-pipeline booths set up outside the venue were very busy. Most people were joining Nelson’s anti-pipeline groups, buying No Pipeline signs and t-shirts, and asking how they could help with the resistance.  

    Free Nelson organized a protest for the event, centered around Dominion’s purchase of Virginia’s elected officials. On February 5, about 50 citizen lobbyists attended the General Assembly session to lobby for the repeal of the survey without permission law passed in 2004. They lobbied Virginia’s Senators in the morning and attended the Commerce and Labor Committee meeting where the bill was promptly killed without a motion.

    Local citizens wore tent cards at Tuesday’s Open House with a Senator’s name who serves on the Commerce and Labor Committee and comments which read “bought and paid for by Dominion” and “Dominion bought my vote for” and the dollar amount of contributions.  Governor McAuliffe and Senator Warner were included in the protest, because McAuliffe supports the proposed ACP, and then-Governor Warner signed the 2004 survey bill into law. Each “Citizen Senator” also had an envelope of “Commonwealth of Dominion” bucks equalling their specific pay off received from Dominion. Senator Dick Saslaw won the prize for the largest amount of contributions received at over $240,000.  

    At the end of the evening, the “Citizen Senators” went to Dominion’s “Public Input” table where they sang a revised version of the old Lesley Gore song, “You Don’t Own Me” and returned all of Dominion’s contributions received by our legislators in “Commonwealth of Dominion” bucks.

    Photos by Marion Kanour and Jennifer Lewis

    • Dan Sullivan

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    • Dan Sullivan

      Stosch's Stash photo IMG_0915_zps1svjkyxb.jpg

    • Dan Sullivan

      Stosch's Total photo IMG_0918_zps135dmdba.jpg

    • Dan Sullivan

      Sentiment in Nelson photo IMG_0916_zpsts5zlfey.jpg

    • Dan Sullivan

      Public Input photo Public Input_zpsthvhnswn.jpg

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      It seems to me that all the pipeline talk and planning results from corporate interests wanting to be first to get that shale gas across Virginia and to its own plants/existing pipelines. The Dominion/Atlantic Coast pipeline is to be jointly owned by Dominion and Duke Energy, both of which want to own the means of getting gas to existing and new electrical plants to replace coal. (That used to be called seeking vertical integration.) The two pipelines being proposed for SW Virginia are being presented by Transco, the owner of the biggest existing pipeline in the state. Transco would love to sell gas to Dominion and Duke. Dominion and Duke would love to own the means of transport for the gas, plus get gas to the export market.

      What bothers me most about the Atlantic pipeline is that Dominion, largest partner in the whole scheme, has never overseen the construction of a 42-inch pipeline. One 42-inch pipeline that was built in Nebraska (Uh, FLAT Nebraska) required a trench 42 FEET wide. Imagine that type of trench going through Highland, Augusta, Nelson, etc. Mountains to be crossed, national forest to be ripped through.

      I suppose it’s not enough that fossil fuel companies are blowing up whole mountains in West Virginia and SW Virginia to get out coal that is literally a “fossil fuel” in every sense of the word. Now, they want to expand their rape of the land to include other pristine areas of Virginia. All the citizens will have is their “promise” that nothing will be permanently ruined. The people have heard that before.

      Keep up the fight, folks.