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Friends of Nelson asks Dominion Board of Directors, stockholders to drop plans for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

pipeline4On Wednesday morning, on the steps outside the Dominion Resources Board of Directors and Shareholders Meeting, Friends of Nelson will ask that Dominion drop its plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

“Nelson County property owners want Dominion to respect that no means no,” said Joanna Salidis, president of Friends of Nelson. “We want Dominion to uphold their claim that eminent domain is a method of last resort – not a gift from the government to maximize profit on the backs of unwilling private property owners and communities.”

“Landowners in these communities do not want this pipeline,” said Ernie Reed of Friends of Nelson. “This pipeline as proposed would tear apart communities, businesses and properties in Nelson, Augusta, Buckingham and Highland Counties and continue across the entire state. Dominion’s lawsuits to force access for surveying reveal they have no compassion for Virginia landowners and no interest in limiting the force they will use to seize private property by eminent domain for their own corporate profits.”

Friends of Nelson charges that Dominion has chosen a route that maximizes the use of eminent domain, failing to utilize existing infrastructure and rights of way. The few other pipelines of comparable size and pressure in the United States make extensive use of existing rights of way—typically 50 percent of the length, compared to the ACP’s currently proposed 4 percent.

The group also challenges the notion that the proposed pipeline meets the basic requirements that the project will serve a public benefit and public need, pointing to studies showing that electricity demand in the U.S. peaked six years ago, and demographic numbers in Virginia and North Carolina that it says indicates less demand coming online in the future.

Friends of Nelson will ask that Dominion withdraw its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, abandon the use of eminent domain in the Commonwealth for proposed pipelines, initiate an aggressive investment in incentives for residential and commercial distributed energy systems and energy efficiency, and fully utilize solar and off-shore wind technologies to achieve any future increased energy supply proposals in the Commonwealth.

         

“This pipeline is an ill-conceived travesty,” said Reed. “It has no place here.”

Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said in a statement to Augusta Free Press Tuesday afternoon that the company “will continue to seek a dialogue with all stakeholders and look forward to doing what is best to provide for the future.”

“We’re proud of our record of low electricity rates, high reliability and environmental stewardship,” Norvelle said. “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will meet the urgent energy needs of utilities in Virginia and North Carolina and their customers.

“Dominion has announced plans to invest more than $19 billion in Virginia and beyond to continue that record of service to our customers and communities,” Norvelle said. “Our investments also bring with them thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in energy savings each year, and cleaner air.”

– Story by Chris Graham

 
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