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The Appalachian Mountains are Spared!

Finally some good news on caring for the earth.  The developers of the long-delayed, $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday the cancellation of the multi-state natural gas project.   Duke Energy and Dominion Energy were partners in this development plan, which formed in 2014, and finally threw in the towel citing legal uncertainty and local delays for the 600-mile project designed to carry gas over the mountains from West Virginia to North Carolina.

The massive infrastructure project has drawn fierce opposition from many landowners and environmental activists.  And for good reason.  The project would have involved tree removal and blasting many ridgetops of mountains, and crossed hundreds of bodies of water through sensitive and pristine terrain under the beloved Appalachian Trail. 

The decision by Duke and Dominion is an indicator that the collective voices of concerned citizens and the judicial system can have a positive impact on the environment.  I have lived in the Appalachian Mountains and walked many of its iconic trails.  Future generations now have a greater chance to enjoy one of God’s great gifts to our country and world.  These lands are a national treasure.

We need not bemoan the price of gas increasing much because of this decision.  Gas can still be trucked from West Virginia to North Carolina, utilizing infrastructure already in place at tax payer expense.  I happened to pay $1.69 a gallon this morning at a nearby station.  There are many greater forces affecting the price of gas than this one intrusive 42 inch diameter pipe line scarring our beautiful mountains and disrupting the iconic Appalachian Trail.

This is cause for celebration.  I think I’ll take a walk and sing a song.

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