Letter writer: Divest from pipeline madness

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Water is life. We all keep hearing it over and over again. But — it really is. Turn off all the digital stuff for just a minute — and appreciate that simple fact. Water is life.

Without clean water, we cannot live healthy and productive lives. Without clean water, we cannot brew quality craft beers (just trying to get someone’s attention here). Clean water is essential in our everyday lives. And most of us take it for granted.

After years of neglect and abuse, and despite the awareness generated back in the ’70s which led to the Clean Water Act, the fresh drinking water we have left on this planet is under attack as never before. Existing and proposed pipelines, along with the fracking boom, are ticking time bombs ready to pollute what’s left of our precious water resources. We don’t hear about most of the spills. Only the surrounding communities experience the true consequences of a spill, large or “small.” And they just keep happening.

So what can we do?

Divesting from those institutions that help fund and support the destructive and dangerous construction of new pipelines is one very powerful and effective tool. Divestiture helped to bring down entrenched apartheid in South Africa. It could also be a last resort to help save what clean water we have left in the United States.

New pipelines are being proposed around the country to lock us all into fossil-fuel servitude. Here in North Carolina, the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline hopes to bring us all fracked gas from West Virginia through Virginia to a theater near you! Let your thoughts be known if you would rather our state resources be used to protect our precious water supply and promote clean energy instead of supporting destructive pipelines that will dig their way through our beautiful communities and put them in danger at the same time.

More info about which banks are helping to fund the pipelines is available at defundDAPL.org.

Cities and communities around the nation are choosing to divest from those institutions that wish to profit from the pipeline madness that threatens our most precious resource. I’m hoping Asheville will be the next one to do so. There is a better way. Water is life.

— Gardner Hathaway


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