Filed under: Action, Development, Environment, Southeast
Communique from recent actions fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia. “If you don’t act to protect our water and our mountains, we will.”
Montgomery County, VA — Thursday morning, a pipeline protester locked herself to construction equipment on a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) easement in Montgomery County, VA, bringing pipeline construction on Brush Mountain to a halt. The blockade, carried out by local resident and mother Emily Satterwhite, is the most recent action in an ongoing campaign to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Banners at the site read “Water is Life – We Won’t Back Down” and “VA Dems: Pipelines or Democracy – You Choose.” Dozens of local residents and pipeline resisters have gathered on Brush Mountain to support Emily and express their opposition to the MVP.
“Virginians have tried every way we know how to tell our elected representatives that these fracked gas pipelines are a mistake,” said Emily Satterwhite, a 46-year-old mother from Blacksburg, VA. “We may not have lobbyists outside your doors like Dominion does, but we can stop construction to tell you that southwest Virginia does not want the Mountain Valley Pipeline. MVP is bad for Virginia and bad for the planet. The State Water Control Board and DEQ can stop this pipeline. Governor Northam can stop this pipeline. Revoke water quality certification now and inspire a new generation of voters. Because if you don’t act to protect our water and our mountains, we will.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter fracked gas pipeline that is currently under construction at multiple sites along its proposed route, which stretches over 300-miles from northern WV to southern VA. Impacted residents have been fighting to stop the pipeline for over four years through the courts, by appealing to legislators, and most recently, by taking direct action to halt construction. Since February 2018, a series of nonviolent direct actions have stopped and delayed pipeline construction, including several tree sits and aerial blockades on Peters Mountain and along the Appalachian Trail that prevented tree clearing for 95 days this past spring.
Today’s action takes place at the site where MVP cut down the Blued Trees Symphony, an art installation conceived by Aviva Rahmani and painted by local volunteers in an effort to draw attention to the pipeline and prevent destruction. The Blued Trees Symphony has been painted along various pipeline routes in several states; it challenges pipeline corporations’ ability to destroy these copyrighted works of art on the basis that destruction of the trees would violate the artist’s rights. Though the copyright claim was unsuccessful in preserving the 117 trees in the Brush Mountain installation, today, Emily and Appalachians Against Pipelines continue taking action to protect the land, water, and communities of this region from the Mountain Valley Pipeline.