I’m highlighting this action today, both because it’s important in its own right to try to stop fossil fuel projects in our own backyard, but also because the urgency of doing so has been starkly highlighted this morning in the release of a dire new IPCC report which has been accurately called “Code Red for humanity.” In the case of fracked-gas projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the problems are multifold, of course: damage to ecosystems and communities in the fracking process, as well as in the construction of pipelines to transport the gas; leakage of the potent greenhouse gas methane during fracking; emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 when the gas is burned to produce electricity; etc. None of this is in the least bit acceptable, of course, and with the publication of this new climate report by the IPCC, that shouldn’t be in any doubt.
At this point, the bottom line is that we need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions – “If we reduce emissions to #NetZero by 2050, we can keep temperatures close to 1.5C” – which basically means we need to be on a steep glidepath off of fossil fuels, starting RIGHT NOW. And that, in turns, clearly means that we *ABSOLUTELY DO NOT* build any *new* fossil fuel infrastructure, such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline, let alone major fossil fuel infrastructure that will lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. In short, we need to cancel all new fossil fuel infrastructure – including the Mountain Valley Pipeline – immediately.
By the way, it should go without saying that any candidate for public office in Virginia, and certainly for statewide office, at the bare minimum needs to fully acknowledge the climate crisis and lay out their thoughts on getting us to 100% clean energy. If they don’t do those things, then basically they should be disqualified from serious consideration for anyone’s vote. It’s that important and fundamental an issue, so if you can’t even get this right, then you have no business being elected to anything.
With that, here’s the Facebook post from Appalachians Against Pipelines on the action today aimed at stopping the disastrous Mountain Valley Pipeline project.
Nearly 100 pipeline fighters and water protectors are taking action this morning in Elliston, VA to STOP THE MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE! 10 people have locked themselves to construction equipment and other blockades, including a wooden candy darter (an endangered species) and a wooden yellow finch, both of which are native species threatened by the MVP. Banners on site read, “STOP Mountain Valley Pipeline” and “Defend the Sacred.”
“Right now we’re looking at a future with extreme water shortages, accelerating difficulty in growing food, mass human displacement due to natural disasters and manmade disasters caused by pipelines like these,” stated Mandy, one of the people taking action today. “In the face of all those things, we continue to trample over Indigenous treaty rights, something that this country has never honored or valued. This is just another example of how corporations are given permission to act with impunity over the health and safety of the people that live here. I’m here to stop the ecocide and the ongoing genocide against Native peoples, and I’m here to fight for a habitable future on our planet. Land back is the only way forward.”
Another pipeline fighter at today’s action stated: “What I hope for is that our action today, in addition to stopping construction on the evil snake, inspires you to be disruptive and to embrace the power of refusal. It’s easy to see injustice, but now is the time to put your body in the way — and when folks tell you to get back in line, you can refuse. When the cops tell me to unlock myself from this equipment, I will refuse. Despite the vast power of the state, I have the power to refuse in ways that cause real disruption, and you do too!”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, 300-plus mile, fracked gas pipeline that runs from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia. The pipeline’s construction is 3.5 years behind schedule, several billion dollars over budget, and still missing permits including those needed to cross streams, waterways, and the National Forest.
Resistance to the MVP has existed since its proposal in 2014, and is only one of many anti-pipeline fights happening across the world. In Minnesota, Indigenous-led resistance to Enbrige’s Line 3 pipeline has resulted in dozens of violent arrests in recent months.
Those taking action today against the MVP do so in solidarity with all others fighting fossil fuel infrastructure.
Today’s action is a collaboration with Arm in Arm!
Donate to support resistance to pipelines in Appalachia: bit.ly/SupportMVPResistance