Bold Alliance statement on issuance of FEIS for Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipeline today.
Bold Alliance organizer Carolyn Reilly offered the following comment on the FEIS: “FERC’s statement perpetuates the insufficient, insulting and complicated process that solely serves the private corporations and industries that fund it.”
Richard Averitt, an affected landowner and entrepreneur, said this: “The FEIS is based on incomplete information, false narratives, and superficial statements of need that are based on corrupt self-dealing. It makes a mockery of the approval process. It’s clear that FERC exists to do the bidding of the industry that pays its salaries and feels no responsibility to the public or to the truth.”
The Natural Gas Act specifies that FERC should prove public convenience and necessity before permitting interstate gas pipelines that slice through mountainous and agrarian landscapes, putting rural communities at risk of water loss; ruining aquifers, wells, springs and thousands of waterways; as well as bringing inevitable leaks and potentially explosive pipeline failure. But FERC has permitted hundreds of projects in recent years based on nothing more than ‘precedent agreements,’ which are contracts for shipping gas, in many cases between affiliates of the same companies proposing the pipeline. This is overwhelmingly the case with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Self-serving contracts between Dominion, Duke, and Southern Company and their utility affiliates account for 93 percent of the pipeline’s reserved gas capacity, meaning they can saddle captive customers with the bill while their shareholders reap the profits.
Averitt added, “How is it possible that our federal government, who must regulate and approve these pipelines, openly allows wealthy corporations to sacrifice the hopes, desires, and dreams of families, farmers and businesses on their own land for the purpose of private profit? It is unconscionable and further evidence that we are being sold out to the highest bidder by a corrupt agency that must be reined in.”
Appalachian landowners, citizens, and communities have been battling the proposed project for over three years, working to defend and protect their livelihoods, grandiose mountains, clean water, and sacred land. Bold Alliance stands with landowners and challenges the unconstitutional taking of land for pipelines that put rural communities at risk for corporate profit. FERC must protect the rights of rural citizens and deny the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.