News | September 8, 2022

Appalachia can’t be a sacrifice zone for an irresponsible dinosaur like the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Virginians attending a march in Washington D.C. wore posters supporting the efforts to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (©Phuong Tran)

National attention is once again turning to the Mountain Valley Pipeline following reports of a “side deal” to the landmark climate bill signed into law in August. The deal would aim to reform the permitting process for pipeline projects, amounting to a handout to the fossil fuel industry at the expense of Appalachian communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. 

Communities all along the route and their supporters are calling in response for an end to the gas project that has faced resistance from the start, racked up a laundry list of violations, still lacks necessary permits to move ahead, and further ties the South to polluting fossil fuels for decades.  

On Thursday, September 8, a rally of Appalachian resistance is taking place in Washington D.C. as pipeline opponents including SELC partners and allies urge Congressmembers not to approve a sweetheart deal for a single pipeline.  

It turns out the pipeline was on the negotiating table, and we weren’t at that table.

Russell Chisholm, Member of Preserve Giles County

The longest and largest-capacity new gas pipeline project in the eastern United States, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, or MVP, is intended to carry gas from West Virginia to North Carolina. It is an irresponsible project that threatens public health, environmental justice, and our region’s water and land. MVP would contribute to climate change at a time when we should be fighting it.  

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is obsolete, irresponsible, and dangerous.  

Consider: 

  • MVP would cause more than 40 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year according to federal regulators  
  • MVP has been cited more than 300 times for water quality and protection violations 
  • MVP has racked up millions of dollars in penalties in West Virginia and Virginia 
  • MVP is more than three years behind schedule, yet overstates how far along it is 

People on the ground have been fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline for years, and they’re not stopping now. The pipeline would cut through the homes of low-wealth, Black, and indigenous people in West Virginia and southwest Virginia, making Appalachian communities once again a “sacrifice zone,” as community leader Russell Chisholm, a member of SELC client Preserve Giles County, recently told the New York Times. He continued: “It turns out the pipeline was on the negotiating table, and we weren’t at that table.” 

Here at SELC, we’re working hard to make sure all frontline communities in our region are represented at the table where decisions are made about their homes. Join the rally against the Mountain Valley Pipeline in DC on Thursday, and stay tuned for more ways to support the Appalachian communities threatened by fossil fuel projects like this one. 

SELC is defeating gas projects to protect Southern people and places.