Hey, I Have an Idea Where They Can Stick the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia campaigned on green energy (and I hear some people may have believed him, though I haven’t met one) and then immediately backed the proposed construction of a giant fracked-gas pipeline through the mountains and farms of Virginia to carry fossil fuels from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Dominion Virginia Power paid $1.3 million this year in legal bribes to candidates’ election campaigns, more than anyone else in Virginia except the two Parties. Every single bill Dominion opposed in the legislature died. Dominion, according to the dictionary, is “the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; rule; control; domination.”

In Virginia it’s easy to think of the evictions of the poor farmers 80 years ago to create Shenandoah National Park as something ancient that civilization has outgrown and would never do again. (And the old lyrics of the song Shenandoah, about giving the Native American chief liquor in order to steal his daughter, are not celebrated in this day and age.) But at least the injustice of the 1930s evictions created a park. At least there was some sort of public interest involved.

Now here comes the Virginia government as the bought-and-paid-for servants of their corporate masters at Dominion to claim a 40-yard-wide path of destruction and potential catastrophe right through the middle of numerous private properties and public properties for the sake of escalating the collapse of a livable climate on the planet, not to mention facilitating the destruction in West Virginia where the fracking frackers will do their fracking. What’s the public interest to justify it? It’s going to ruin parks and not create any.

A good short documentary on the growing resistance, called Won’t Pipe Down, shows the owner of Silverback Distillery explaining that he supported the Keystone Pipeline but opposes this one because it impacts his own personal private property and his business. The correct response to that attitude is not “Serves you right,” but “Glad you’re now with us.” Because NIMBYism keeps getting the proposed path of the pipeline moved, and if those who succeed in moving it stick with the struggle to keep it from getting built at all, perhaps it can be prevented entirely.

The pipeline is also proposed to cut right through a communal farm property, where an existing sense of community may aid the movement.

In fact the movement is doing well. Check out FriendsofNelson.com. There are big protests. Driving through Nelson County, or even through Charlottesville, one sees lots of “No Pipeline” signs. Some 69% of Nelson County landowners in the proposed path have refused to allow surveys on their land.

The film, Won’t Pipe Down, uses a quote from local hero slave-owner, rapist, coward, sadist, and father of States Rights, Thomas Jefferson, to emphasize the supreme value of “private property.” But the pipeline is not going through the private property of most of the people opposing it, or of most of the people who ought to be opposing it and who will have to start opposing it if it is to be stopped.

The U.S. government fights wars for oil and gas, for godsake. It bombs people’s homes for this stuff. If we only protest when our own personal property is impacted disproportionately, we’re going to see the climate severely impact each and every piece of private property on earth. This pipeline needs to be opposed by everyone in the area and everyone in the world. Help out, won’t you? FriendsofNelson.com and AugustaCountyAlliance.org

Oh, and here’s my idea for where to stick the thing if it can’t be stopped. Governor McAuliffe is living in public housing in Richmond, Va., and I suspect that Thomas F. Farrell II is able with his personal $12 million per year from Virginians’ utility bills, to afford some sort of residence in that area. McAuliffe must bow before the $2500 Farrell gave him for his campaign, even knowing that Farrell gave his opponent $5000. Why not build a pipeline from the sewer beneath each of these two gentlemen’s houses, connecting them, and let the question of which produces more filth, the public or private realm, finally be answered when we see which house’s plumbing backs up first?

“We Don’t Want Your Pipeline” By Robin and Linda Williams from Richard Adams on Vimeo.

Protest Song about proposed Dominion Gas Pipeline coming through
West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Robin and Linda Williams (copyright 2014)

Image above shows the results of building a leaking pipeline in another state, what Virginians can look forward to if the ACP is built.

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  • diogenes

    David Swanson, I have admired every writing of yours I have read — with the pungent exception, which I protest, of your description of Jefferson herein. Surely your historical imagination is bigger than this, and not so cheap.

    • Gotham Knight

      Swanson’s knowledge easily eclipses that of Jefferson as does his ability to argue. Given a chance to be founding father material, Swanson would have fit well in the ranks of Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin. Swanson, being more moral and far more righteous than the latter aforementioned so-called founding fathers, could surely have gone on to be the founding father of the world. Too bad he turned out to be such a dolt when it comes to historical context and knowing the mind of Jefferson.

  • colinjames71

    now I’VE got an idea where they can stick that pipeline… (great title btw)

    I may disagree with the AGW theory, but that in no way should be interpreted as a call for business as usual. Fracking and tar sand fuels especially. Eff that. My position is there’s more than enough reasons to get off fossil fuels as quick as possible even w/o man-made climate change from “greenhouse gases”- air and land pollution, ocean acidification, damaging and war-driving energy geopolitics, the inevitable spills, the inevitable next Lac-Megantic train derailment disaster, and so on. Anyway, hope they succeed in blocking it.
    It’s high past time we started a major push toward new technologies- beyond wind and solar- in addition to completely revamping our grid and transportation infrastructures. Another Carrington event and it’s bye-bye, electricity, and possibly civilization as we know it. Sun might be relatively quiet now, but that does NOT preclude a major CME, as we saw a few weeks ago.

  • Mike Meyer

    One VA. fabricator/manufacturer/machine shop genius
    who can market these Azevedo/T Power H20 vehicles
    will create fuel/energy options for VA. commuters.

    Miracle motorbike that goes 500km… on a liter of water! (VIDEO)

    Published time: 25 Jul, 2015 07:28Edited time: 26 Jul, 2015 11:02

    Get short URL

    © RT / Ruptly


    A Brazilian man, Ricardo Azevedo from Sao Paulo, has shown off his wonder bike to the world. The magic machine can travel up to 500 kilometers on a liter of water.

    The so-called “T Power H20” vehicle is powered by water and an external car battery to produce electricity and split the hydrogen from the water molecules.

    As a result, combustion is created giving the motorbike the impetus to move.

    READ MORE: World has 10 years to combat climate change, prevent health catastrophe – scientists

    In the video, Azevedo first drinks from the bottle, proving that it’s indeed water and not some kind of other fuel. Then he fills the canister and rides off.

    Azevedo also demonstrates how the bike works. The inventor shows that even polluted waters from the Tiete River can be used to fuel the vehicle.

    READ MORE: Bioengineers invent engine powered by water vapor, artificial muscles

    The Brazilian is promoting his creation as an environment-friendly machine.

    “The advantage of this motorcycle, which works with the hydrogen that comes from the water, is that the result that comes out of the exhaust is water vapor. This is different from gasoline, which [produces] carbon monoxide,” he told RT.

  • James Richard

    Property rights are what is at issue here, not oil, not pipelines, not crooked politicians. The authority to take what belongs to someone else no matter what it is is the root of the problem. What does it accomplish to cut off a head of a Lernaean Hydra when the results are a given? It amounts to little more than kabuki theatre. It is the problem that must corrected, not its manifestations. “We like that you have this authority, we just don’t like how you wield it” is not an argument that will solve anything. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.