FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2017

Contact:
Carolyn Reilly, Bold Alliance, 540-488-4358, carolyn@boldalliance.org

Landowners, Bold Alliance Respond to FERC Certifications for both Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines, Vow to Continue Legal Challenges and Resistance

Rocky Mount, VA — Landowners in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast & Mountain Valley fracked gas pipelines vowed on Friday to continue their fight, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued certificates of public convenience and necessity for both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) projects. FERC Chairwoman, Cheryl LaFleur dissented, stating that the projects are not in the public interest.

Despite FERC’s reckless decision, made by Trump’s nominees, Bold Alliance and more than 50 landowners, have a federal lawsuit challenging the use of eminent domain for private gain and intend to continue the fight for property rights in the court system.

Carolyn Reilly, impacted landowner and Pipeline Fighter with Bold Alliance, responded, “Thousands of landowners and citizens have stood strong in the battle to defend land, protect water and preserve communities. FERC has, yet again, pulled out its rubber stamp and permitted two more risky, fracked gas pipelines that put our homes, our land, our water, and our communities at risk. But, our fight is far from over. The ACP and MVP are not a done deal; between the Bold lawsuit against FERC and water permits needed from West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, we, the people, press on and persevere to defend and protect what is sacred.”

Despite receiving federal approvals from FERC, the ACP and MVP still require a 401 Clean Water Act permit from the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality, and landowners and opponents of the proposed fracked gas pipeline continue to urge Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Northam and DEQ Director David Paylor to reject these projects, which are abusing eminent domain for private gain, and threatening our land and water. States are empowered to reject these pipeline applications utilizing the clean water act. Governor Coumo has done so in New York and Governors McAuliffe, Cooper and Justice can do it in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, too.

Serina Garst, impacted landowner by the MVP and president of Occaneechi, Inc. shared, “Five generations of my family have lived on our Virginia land, it is special, it is important to us. The U.S. Constitution allows a government entity to take private property only if necessary for a public purpose. In the MVP, we have not a government, not even a public utility, but a newly-formed private shell company. That private company wants to take land that it does need and ignore alternate forms of transporting the gas because the pipeline is more lucrative. And the use of the gas is not for the public – at least, not for the American public. Does the constitution mean nothing? Can any company that wants to make money off my family’s land take it if they get government backing? Many of men who wrote the Constitution, such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson were also Virginians. Can anyone truly believe this is what they intended?”

Richard Averitt, impacted landowner by the ACP, stated, “Sadly, it’s no surprise. FERC’s decision further demonstrates that they’re in the back pocket of the industry. But, hundreds of landowners have stood strong and have refused to negotiate with the pipeline companies. We have vowed to fight to protect and defend what is constitutionally ours, and we will win.”

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