Letter: Stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline!

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

Do you ever think about how we can take charge of our energy future? Even though our mayor and City Council have advocated 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, there’s a problem. We must prevent the infrastructure (such as fracked-gas pipelines) that locks us into fossil-fuel dependency for decades to come.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project of Dominion and Duke Energy. This $5.5 billion, 42-inch diameter, 600-mile pipeline carrying fracked gas under high pressure would run from West Virginia through Virginia and across Eastern North Carolina, threatening pristine forests, headwaters, hundreds of streams, as well as many farms and communities. Seizing people’s private land by eminent domain in order to make a few wealthy people richer while destroying the climate and endangering people in its pathway is just plain wrong!

At risk are many people of color: African-Americans and Native peoples in Eastern North Carolina. Their property value will drop; there is a blast zone of over a mile around the pipeline; and some farms will be completely destroyed. Far from a boon to the local economies, this pipeline would close down farms and place people at risk. The gas is for export; there is a glut of fracked gas on the market. It is not needed in North Carolina.

Fracked gas devastates the communities in which it is mined, and the leaks and venting of methane wreak havoc on the climate. Annual emissions from the ACP are estimated at 68 million metric tons — equivalent to the emissions from 20 average U.S. coal plants.

To achieve climate goals, this dangerous poison gas needs to stay in the ground. Instead, we need to invest immediately in solar and wind for an energy-secure future that avoids the worst of climate catastrophe.

Stop the pipeline! Please submit your comments by Aug. 22 to: comment-acp@deq.virginia.gov.

— Cathy Holt
Asheville

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