Concerns over future of energy in NRV

BLACKSBURG - Some residents in the New River Valley told WFXR News that they are concerned about plans to build a natural gas pipeline, as well as the rollback of regulations for coal companies.

The Lyric Theatre was packed for the premier of Pipeline Fighters Thursday night.

The documentary by Marino Colmano focuses on the environmental and safety concerns about plans to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas from West Virginia to Southside in a 42-inch pipeline.

"Fossil fuel extraction is a thing of the past. We've got to stop doing it," said Colmano. "Unfortunately the (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is asking for a 500-foot pipeline cooridor. If they get that, then they're going to be able to place five pipes in the place where one is. This is just the tip of the iceberg."

Several Blacksburg area residents told WFXR News that they're concerned about the impact on water sources, air quality and wildlife.

"This is pristine country and the hiking and the recreational. There's one area where they're going to take the top off a mountain, like 30-foot down for a 42-inch pipeline," said James Latner.

Politics in Washington stole some of the spotlight off the pipeline project, with a renewed focus on coal.

President Donald Trump signed a measure Thursday, making it easier for coal mining companies to dump waste into waterways.

The act cancels regulation by the Obama administration to protect waterways.

Republicans killed the rule by using the Congressional Review Act, which is not commonly or frequently used.

"Coal is in the past. I think we need to move on to other fuels," said Blacksburg resident Mona Murphy. "There are cleaner fuels that can do the same thing."

"What it does to the economy of small counties, we're a sacrifice zone and they could care less," said Giles County resident Donna Pitt.

Pipeline Fighters will be shown at The Grandin Theatre in Roanoke on March 27th at 7 p.m.

When asked about the claims and concerns in the documentary, a spokesperson for Mountain Valley Pipeline told WFXR News that their survey shows a majority of people in the area support the project.

"Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is committed to an honest and factual discussion of the project and natural gas. The facts remain that the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline's capacity is fully subscribed; access to natural gas is important for economic development; pipelines are widely recognized as the safest way to transport energy; and MVP is supported by a broad, bipartisan coalition of people and businesses. In fact, a recent survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found 62 percent of Virginia voters support the MVP project, and 74 percent of those in the Roanoke area support it. Furthermore, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported, the increased use of clean, affordable, and domestic natural gas has played an important role in reducing U.S. carbon emissions."

The Mountain Valley Pipeline project schedule said the FInal Environmental Impact statement is expected in March, with plans to start construction of the pipeline this year.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Dog Days of Summer
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Donate School Supplies
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Ag Life
  • Good Day Cafe
  • Automotive Essentials
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center