Monroe County, WV — Tuesday morning, November 27th, pipeline fighters in West Virignia blocked work at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site on Ellison Ridge.
A protester climbed and locked themself to a boom tractor, about 20 feet in the air, as supporters gathered nearby. A banner hanging at the site reads “ANTIPATRIARCHY, ANTIPIPELINE.”
“I do this for our futures,” stated the anonymous protester who took action today. “I am only one person, and this is only one action, but there are many more pipe layers, excavators, machines of exploitation. There are over 300 miles of pipe planned. EQT must face opposition at every mile.”
The 300-plus-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline route runs from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia, with plans to extend into North Carolina. Although EQT (the company spearheading the pipeline) claims the gas will be used domestically, the company has been unable to demonstrate adequate domestic demand and will likely move forward with plans to export the gas overseas.
“We don’t need the pipeline, and we don’t want it,” stated Connie Fitzsimmons, a mother and nurse from nearby Blacksburg, Virginia who supports the action taken today. “The science is clear; it’s time to act now. No fracked gas, no pipelines. Renewable energy needs to be supported and implemented. All political means to decline these fracked gas projects have been exhausted and ignored by a broken system. This is a 42-inch-diameter, high-pressure, welded snake of fracked gas being built through steep, mountainous, karst terrain, and through our water sources. It’s not only ill conceived, it’s destructive both locally and globally. I support direct action to save our planet earth, for my children, for the people who are unable to resist, for my community and for all of humanity.”
Tasha Hiner, a Monroe County resident who supports today’s action, echoed these sentiments by stating, “Mountain Valley Pipeline does not serve the people.”
The pipeline has faced staunch resistance since its proposal in 2014, which has escalated in the past few months with a series of direct actions to delay construction. Just last week, a pipeline fighter scaled another boom tractor at a worksite in Lindside, successfully stopping work at the site for 10 hours. Today, in Elliston, VA, two tree sits block the pipeline’s path for the 84th consecutive day. These actions have forced MVP to raise its budget by nearly $1 billion, and to push its expected in service date from late 2018 to late 2019. Today’s action shows that pipeline fighters will not back down!