Overview (Revised March 2016)
The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) would include a 42 inch pipe beginning in the shale fracking fields near Clarksburg, West Virginia and terminating 480 miles in North Carolina with a 70 mile spur to Hampton Roads, Virginia. This $5 billion project is a joint effort of four major U.S. energy companies – Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. Dominion Power is taking the lead in developing the project.
The recent boom in shale gas exploitation through horizontal hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in West Virginia and adjacent states coupled with market demand in other parts of the east are spurring the ACP and other proposed projects.
Opposition to these pipelines is considerable and in many places, fierce. The ACP pipeline would use eminent domain to condemn private property for its path. And the path is large, 75 feet of permanent, grass-seeded width and 125 feet of construction right of way. This compares roughly to a double-lane interstate highway footprint. Furthermore, both the Monongahela National Forest and the George Washington National Forest would be carved by the pipelines, along with pristine cold-water streams.
In Pocahontas County, the first proposed route that crossed Cheat Mountain and ran easterly just north of Durbin was rejected by the United States Forest Service as too damaging to rare species and fragile ecosystems.
On February 12, 2016, a new ACP route was proposed. This would enter Pocahontas County from Randolph County near Mace, traverse parallel and just east of Rt. 219, cut through to the junction of Rt. 66 and Snowshoe Drive (Linwood Library and Day Care) toward the junction of Clover Lick Road and River Road, cross the Greenbrier River several hundred yards north of the Clover Lick depot. Rt. 28 would be crossed north of the high school a few miles. Seneca State Forest would be crossed including Michael Mountain. Rt. 92 would be crossed a little over 2 miles north of Frost. The route would then go through the Monongahela National Forest into Virginia. See Maps.
Tourism is a major industry in Pocahontas County due to its stunning scenery and marvelous ecosystem. While Dominion promises property tax revenue, other economic issues also come into play. Tourism revenue loss, decreased property values, and a less desirability to attract people to live here can all play negatively in the economic equation. See Key Logos Economics studies for Virginia.
Furthermore, this hefty $5 billion in pipeline would simply incentivize the energy industry to maintain dependence upon unsustainable and earth-harming fossil fuels along with the extreme polluting and community-disrupting “fracking” industry.Eight Rivers Council is comprised of Pocahontas County residents and supporters who recognize the extraordinary treasure that this county is in beauty, culture, and ecology, and that our future is entwined in how this treasure is passed on. Eight Rivers Council joins together with other local, regional, and national organizations and coalitions to oppose the invasion of pipelines and its gas.
This outstanding view from U.S. 250 just into the Pocahontas County line had been slated to be marred by a construction footprint almost the width of an Interstate Highway, and a permanent 75 foot grassed strip. This picturesque view would have been seriously degraded. This pipeline would have replaced majestic beauty with ugly. How would locals and visitors react to such a view?
Construction of a 42 inch pipeline in the rolling, soft-soiled hills of Nebraska. Construction through steep, rocky terrain appalachian mountains would be messier and more challenging and would require a wider construction and maintenance right-of-way. How would viewing this scene compare to the picture above?
NO PIPELINE signs are available courtesy of the MARE project.