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A simulated view of the Mountain Valley Pipeline from Giles High School in Pearisburg, Virginia. Hill Studio for Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition

Major East Coast Pipelines Approved by FERC Despite Strong Opposition

Federal regulators approved plans for two controversial new natural gas pipelines along the East Coast Friday.

In a divided 2-1 vote, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the green light to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipeline projects, which would carry shale gas through Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, the only dissenting vote, expressed concerns in her written dissent on the redundancy of the collective 900 miles of pipeline, the potential environmental impacts and the relatively small accounted demand for the Mountain Valley project.

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Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition

FERC Paves Way for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) paved the way Friday for the 600-mile, 42-inch fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline to proceed when it issued the final environmental impact statement (FEIS). A joint project of utility giants Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would move fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina.

In April, the Sierra Club submitted more than 500 pages of legal and technical comments on FERC's draft EIS, which were joined by more than 18,000 individual comments detailing opposition to the project. The pipeline has been met with widespread opposition, with more than 1,000 people participating in public hearings across the three affected states. The Sierra Club recently requested that FERC issue a new environmental review document analyzing information that came in after or late in, the public comment process.

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Energy company filings (shapefile), Energy Information Administration. Leanne Abraham, Alyson Hurt and Katie Park/NPR

Thousands of Miles of Pipelines Enrage Landowners, Threaten the Future of Our Planet

By Kristen Lombardi and Jamie Smith Hopkins

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction.

Together these new and expanded pipelines—comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all—would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise.

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Pipeline in Pennsylvania State Forest. StateImpact PA

How This Energy Company's Deep Influence Is Tainting Atlantic Coast Pipeline Approval Process

By Andy Rowell

There is a growing political scandal in Virginia regarding the ubiquitous influence of the state's largest energy company, Dominion Energy, and it's raising fundamental questions about the integrity of the governor's office and state regulators who will decide the fate of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Dominion's longstanding exercise of power and influence in Virginia is no secret—the company is the largest corporate donor to state candidates.

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Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Here's How This Governor Can Take Real Climate Action

By Kelly Trout

Now that Donald Trump has official announced that he plans to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and further entrench the power of the fossil fuel industry within our federal government, state and local action on climate becomes ever more crucial.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently said as much in announcing executive action to draw up a state cap-and-trade system to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

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Virginia Veterans Speak Out Against Fracked-Gas Pipelines

Military veterans from across Virginia released a letter Thursday opposing two proposed fracked-gas pipelines: Dominion Energy's Atlantic Coast Pipeline and EQT's Mountain Valley Pipeline. These pipelines would cross through pristine areas of Virginia, taking private property by use of eminent domain, removing mountain ridgetops and threatening valuable drinking water resources. The veterans view this as contrary to their service to protect and defend the freedom and security of American citizens.

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The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Would Require Extensive Mountaintop Removal

A new briefing paper details how Dominion Energy's proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would involve the blasting, excavation and removal of mountaintops along 38 miles of Appalachian ridgelines as part of the construction.

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Trump Team Tied to Atlantic Coast Pipeline Now Being Pushed by White House

By Steve Horn and Itai Vardi

On Jan. 25, President Donald Trump's team listed the Atlantic Coast pipeline among the White House's top priorities for infrastructure projects, an attempt to deliver on his campaign promise to invest in U.S infrastructure programs.

Of the 50 on the list, Atlantic Coast is surprisingly the only pipeline project named. Some had suspected Trump's infrastructure promise would serve as a massive pipeline giveaway. So, why prioritize this one?

A possible answer: Several members of Trump's transition team, landing team and current White House operation have connections to companies behind the project or to firms lobbying for it.

The Atlantic Coast pipeline has been proposed by a partnership among Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and Southern Gas Company.

The natural gas pipeline, currently under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has faced staunch opposition from environmental activists and residents along its 550-mile-long path stretching from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina. It will carry natural gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").

Among other things, detractors argue that the pipeline will have adverse effects on sensitive habitats, reduce property values and introduce dangerous precedents for the seizure of private property through eminent domain.

The pipeline is included in a document listing the Trump White House's highest priority infrastructure projects. The document, which was leaked recently to the Kansas City Star, had reportedly been sent by Trump transition team members to the National Governor's Association for review and comment.

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Fracking Pipeline Puts Tim Kaine’s Fossil Fuel Industry Ties to the Test

By Alleen Brown

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine is facing pressure from landowners in his home state of Virginia to stand against the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to mid-Atlantic markets.

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