by Kenny Boddye
That’s what you can hear on Peters Mountain along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. A profound, natural silence that you can only find by leaving civilization behind and trekking into one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
And yet, EQT Corporation and their allies, are seeking to destroy this silence and beauty with their proposed construction of the 42 inch Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). EQT has been approved to drill directly through the mountain and beneath the Appalachian Trail, which would destroy thousands of trees, displace countless animals, and threaten the natural purification of area water supplies.
That’s all assuming the pipeline never leaks, breaks, or explodes. We know for a fact that when it comes to these pipelines, it’s a question of WHEN, not IF.
In response, pipeline fighters aligned with Appalachians Against Pipelines have taken to the trees in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in the path of the proposed pipeline. As long as they stay in the trees, they cannot be cut down, and the entire project stalled. A critical deadline of March 31st is fast approaching, and if the pipeline fighters can hold out until then, EQT and their allies will suffer severe setbacks.
That’s why Cindy Cunningham (the “Wandering Canvasser” and founder of VAPLAN) and I drove down to the Virginia-West Virginia border yesterday to show our support. We hiked up Groundhog Trail up to where it joined with the Appalachian Trail, taking in what the MVP would be destroying with its construction. Even though I took numerous pictures along the way, they don’t do the mountains justice.
We then traveled to the site of a road blockade set up by protesters. In order to raise awareness of the pipeline and the danger they pose to the forests, these protesters blocked an access road to the pipeline’s construction site, and one protester took to a pole on the road to slow progress even further. The blockade was broken up by park, local, state, and federal law enforcement, and the road was ordered closed by the park authority.
Eventually, we caught up with some of the pipeline fighters while they were regrouping, and we passed along the supplies we had brought for them. Food, rain supplies, chargers, and other goods are vital to their cause, and we handed them off with our regards from Northern Virginia.
If you’d like to donate to these pipeline fighters, you can do so here.