Virginia residents are up in arms after Dominion Power Company—one of the nation’s largest energy producers—proposed plans to build a 550-mile, 42-inch natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.
According to the Friends of Nelson County, “Dominion will have to seize private property through eminent domain, uproot farms and families, and disrupt businesses and lives in their attempt to complete the project.”
Opposition to Dominion’s proposed pipe line project has been building since August of 2014. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has expressed his support for the project, but on April 16, Virginia 5th District Representative Robert Hurt contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to request more time for public comment.
Starting this weekend, students from the University of Virginia will be cycling along the route of ACP in an effort to show support for residents and land owners within the proposed pipeline’s path and draw attention to climate change.
“This is a way for us to voice our opposition to this disastrous project,” said Hannah Beaman, one of the primary organizers of the resistance ride. “We are not property owners, but we do have a vested interest in seeing this sacred portion of Virginia preserved, and we’ll do everything we can to stop the ACP.”
The ride will begin today and continue through May 19th.
Beaman is hopeful that the resistance ride will have a positive impact, but she realizes the power that Domion wields in the state of Virginia.
“Dominion is an incredibly powerful entity, and they contribute a lot of money to both political parties in our state,” she said. “But people are rising up against their plan to seize private property through eminent domain. No one stands to benefit here except for Dominion and its shareholders.”
Beaman says she and numerous other students will gather the stories of those within the pipeline’s path during their ride and take them to an annual Dominion shareholder’s party in Richmond.
“At the culmination of our trip we will be stopping in Richmond at Dominion’s annual shareholder’s party and letting them know exactly how this pipeline is going to effect the Virginia residents in its path,” she said. “We’ll also be pointing out the devastating effects that this project will have on Virginia’s wildlife species and forest habitat.”