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Oct 10, 19

Elliston, VA: Helicopter Lockdown Stalls Pipeline Construction

On Monday, a brave pipeline fighter in Appalachia was arrested after locking to a Mountain Valley Pipeline helicopter for 5 hours.

Rachel and Emily Blankenship-Tucker — landowners, farmers, and musicians in nearby Franklin County, VA, stated the following in support of Monday’s action: “Those who are willing to risk their own freedom and comfort to protect the water, land and future of the many are true heroes. Any law or rule that prevents citizens from standing in defense of their own future is long out of date. The world is in crisis around us and every action taken to change direction is not only morally right, it is critical to our survival.”

Monday’s action prevented MVP from using their helicopter for hydroseeding — a process in which proprietary pellets are dropped on the pipeline easement and surrounding area as part of the company’s bogus, destructive attempt at “environmental remediation.” In 2018, MVP dropped erosion control pellets on Neal Laferriere’s organic farm Blackberry Botanicals in Summers County, WV, a quarter mile from the easement, hitting Neal’s children in the face and causing the family to lose their organic certification and livelihood. Hydroseeding has been proven worldwide to be incredibly damaging to native plant communities and long term ecosystem stability.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline contributes to climate change, increases demand for natural gas (and as a result, fracking), and is entrenched in corrupt political processes. It endangers water, ecosystems, and communities along its route. Despite initial claims that the gas transported by the MVP would be for domestic use, MVP has since admitted that much of the gas is destined for overseas export — evidence of this is seen even in the proposed route, as the line connects to the Transco Pipeline, which brings gas to existing and planned pre-export LNG terminals.

Every delay counts, y’all! Costing this company time and money not only helps us stop this pipeline, but helps change the conversation and prevent the construction of future disastrous pipelines by making them less profitable.

The person who was arrested after locking themself to a Mountain Valley Pipeline helicopter — Squirrel — is still in jail. They are currently being held without bail. We are hopeful that bail will be set soon, but suspect that it could be set very high. Please consider donating to help support Squirrel, who took action today on behalf of all of us. Donate here:

Before taking action today, Squirrel stated: “I took action today in an attempt to slow the construction of this destructive pipeline project. If completed, the MVP will ship billions of cubic feet of natural gas to be burned every single day. This pipeline will inevitably leak, and many natural gas pipelines have exploded, killing people and wildlife.

“In times such as these, with the catastrophic effects of global warming accelerating at an alarming pace, it is imperative to act now. The planet is in crisis, and the ruling class would rather continue the genocidal and ecologically destructive projects of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism, than address the largest existential threat in human history. It’s up to us to intervene — they won’t stop unless we make them stop.

“For a world and a future without exploitation, capitalism, and the destruction of the wild! No compromise!”

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Defending Appalachia from the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and more. No new pipelines in Appalachia!

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