She said to spread the word, so I’m doing my part. 🙂 Great work by everyone fighting back against these environmental destructive, economically foolhardy fracked-gas pipelines!
This is where I’ve been spending my Spring Break: on Bent Mountain with Eoin Coffey’s parents Bruce Coffey and Mary Beth Young Coffey. We have been watching, hiking, recording, and doing anything else we can to keep track of MVP crews and their contractors who consistently stray out of their Limits of Disturbance zones, block landowners from their own private roads, and do all they can get away with until confronted with the paperwork proving they are in violation (yes – I have physically seen all of these things happen). It is a tedious, exhausting task that the landowners and their neighbors have to carry out because there is seemingly NO oversight by any agency – local, state, federal – when it comes to what MVP is doing here on the ground. These people have battled in court for years over this, they have turned down offer after offer for access to their land (which, by the way, includes many pristine creeks that flow into the main water sources of all of Roanoke, endangered species of bats and birds, and incredibly steep and rugged terrain that is difficult to hike, much less pump gas through), and now they are forced to take time off from their jobs in order to ensure that MVP follows the orders and agreements that they have fought so hard to secure in court.
Red, the Coffey’s neighbor, has resigned to sitting in her trees. The land she sits on has been in her family for 6 generations. The streams on their property (deemed to be cut straight through by MVP) provide well water for the community and flow into Roanoke’s main water sources. Her family turned down every offer MVP made them. However, the courts granted MVP limited access to her property (that is supposed to be subject to strict guidelines) and the pipeline will run right through it. This is the reality for many pieces of private property on Bent Mountain. Red’s sit shouldn’t be a problem for MVP, as the tree cutting was supposed to stop after the March 31st deadline put in place to protect local wildlife during reproductive and migratory seasons.
So – why should we care?
If it can happen here, it will continue to happen everywhere. I care because I don’t want to live in a country where my private property can be seized from me for the sole purpose of corporate profit. The proposed pipeline would deform terrain, destroy creek beds, devalue all surrounding land, and could potentially (as has happened over and over across the country) contaminate our water sources (yes, including the rest of Roanoke). I have been hiking around the proposed route. In many areas the angles and sharp turns are unbelievably extreme for a hiker, much less for millions of gallons of highly explosive gas barreling through some pipes. It’s hard to imagine that nothing would go disastrously wrong. All of this, just so a few people can make some money for a few years until this process is outdated.
Please spread the word and help us hold MVP accountable. We obey the law, and so should they.
Genesis Chapman’s show at the Taubman officially opens tonight, but go see it anytime.
Message me to get connected with a group if you’re willing to help. You can hike, camp, etc. (with permission from landowners and outside of the L.O.D.) and watch for violations. You can make signs for the mountain. You can donate money to those missing work.