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What does the Monongahela forest have to do with fracking and renewable energy?

 
pollinator
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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The short answer is that the Monongahela National Forest stands in the way of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will carry fracked gas to the south east to replace coal fired power plants and create a new industrial base there
So stopping the ACP at the forest edge could postpone all that "cheap, clean" energy making it to market, giving an impetus to renewable energy.

And then comes the long answer (not so long really) that we are at or fast approaching a turning point in the worlds energy markets. Renewables are becoming cheaper, gas leaks at production and transmission were recently admitted to be 50 times greater than previous estimates. New York has banned fracking, earthquakes in Oklahoma have been attributed to fracking and temporary halts have been established in several locations.

While politicians were quick to jump on the natural gas bandwagon, with cheap oil and increasing costs of natural gas, many are starting to rethink that wisdom. Investors in fortune 100 and 500 companies are starting to divest themselves of fossil fuel stocks, we are at or very close to pushing fossil fuel off the market

Yes, it's true that drillers have gotten better since they started fracking in earnest 10 years ago, they don't pollute as much surface water from casement failures, there's not as many slope failures where pipelines have clearcut and failed to avoid the unavoidable slope instability. But the actual fact is they are still polluting surface water, creating earthquakes, generating erosion and slope failures from poor/inadequate management.

The question is do we really need to prolong this fossil industry with more expensive infrastructure that will make it that much more difficult to leave behind.

I'm not crazy about coal, but if the case were made to delay the phasing out of coal to allow really sustainable sources like wind and solar etc to become established, then that would be my choice.

So if you would like to comment on why you think the Monongahela Forest ought to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the particulars are below (i hear there are some really excellent trout streams that will be affected also)

I was surprized to hear that the last campaign to the George Washington Forest generated 700+ letters, much fewer than i anticipated, but many more than they anticipated.

Seems like a concentrated effort from the permaculture community could easily swamp the Monongahela Forest with a positive force that couldn't be resisted.

anyway, here are the particulars, and please, if you have a few moments, think about writing to save these national treasures.

or just add a post here, even if you're just tired of seeing me post about this.

bob



The Forest Service is taking comments until February 13th regarding whether it should allow surveying for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. You can make comments regarding the impacts of the survey itself, but please also take the opportunity to let the Forest Service know why you are opposed to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline going through the national forest, in general.

Send letters to:
Monongahela National Forest
Attn: Atlantic Coast Pipeline Survey Permit Comments
200 Sycamore Street
Elkins, WV, 26241

Send emails to: comments-eastern-monongahela-greenbrier@fs.fed.us
Please include the project name (Atlantic Coast Pipeline Survey Permit Comments) in the subject line of your email.

Possible talking points regarding the survey itself (from West Virginia Highlands Conservancy):

•Too much disturbance for the sensitive areas they are crossing.
•Four surveys means four crews tramping around in the corridor.
•They are going to clear a “line of sight and a travel path for survey equipment.”
•How wide is this “line of sight” going to be?
•Clearing the line of sight will fragment the forest.
•What is this “equipment” besides tripods for siting?
•How will they transport it? Carry it? Will they use some kind of transport device? Motorized?
•How many lines of sight will there be? (Forest Service description says it would be for “a recording of GPS readings of the proposed centerline and other features along the route within 300 feet of the centerline.” This could result in a network of cleared strips.
•They are not including surveys for the impacts to the quality of the scenery.
•They can’t use vehicles “except to access the corridor using public and existing Forest Roads,” but what about parking?
•The work will be done by contractors, and Dominion has a very bad record of overseeing contractors to make sure they abide by the law, so restrictions, such as only using hand tools and no motorized vehicles, are likely to be violated.
•Unless there are sufficient Forest Service staff to provide constant monitoring, the surveys should not be allowed.
•Since the surveys are for the construction of the pipeline, the impacts of the pipeline construction should be considered before allowing the disturbance of the surveys.

Possible talking points regarding impacts to Monongahela National Forest (from West Virginia Highlands Conservancy):
•The proposed pipeline would cross the Monongahela National Forest in areas where there are ongoing restoration projects for trout and red spruce. The Forest Service is bound by law to protect endangered species and their habitat.
•A 100-foot clear cut across the Alleghenies will divide and fragment forest and wildlife habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species and create favorable conditions for invasive species.
•The currently proposed route will cross miles of some of the best remaining wild and undeveloped areas in the east.
•It will cross over a dozen steep forest-covered mountains at elevations of 3000 to more than 4000 feet.
•It will cross many of the highest quality rivers and trout streams in the region.
•Monongahela National Forest is a prime recreational and scenic draw for visitors to West Virginia and residents of the state.
•A pipeline of this magnitude is a major industrial operation, which includes air, water, noise and light pollution, increased traffic, and a permanent scarring of the landscape.
•More pipelines will make it possible to build more gas-fired power plants, which will delay development of renewable energy and delay reduction in usage of fossil fuels.
This entry was posted in Natural Resources, Surveying, Take Action, Water Quality on January 27, 2015 by Meredith.
 
bob day
pollinator
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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i just saw where pocahontas county wv decided they wanted the pipeline and gave permission for the survey (no word yet on the GWNF)

And here's an interesting twist, i was sort of thinking they wouldn't dare come closer to Yogaville, and i could probably live with it a mile and a half away ("it" being the atlantic coast pipeline) and now i see they have an alternate route,, comes across the front half of my property right where my driveways exit onto the road

picture me slapping my head saying doh

i really think they're screwing with us, hard to imagine they will get away with it, but i guess stranger things have happened

even if they bend it a little to avoid my land, it would still be a major disruption

you gotta laugh or you cry

anyway, it's not over till FERC slams down it's rubber stamp, and till then i'm going ahead with swales and ponds and planting trees, i'm too enthusiastic to let anyone with a lot of money and federal government collusion spoil my day.

so what do you think, will righteousness win over fossil fuels and business as usual, stay tuned
gift
 
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