Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline is All Pain and No Gain for these Virginians and many others. This pipeline will scar some of the most beautiful land in the country, negatively impacting our community forever.
Dominion and its allies are taking a heavy-handed approach to this pipeline project, ignoring the concerns of property owners and filing lawsuits against homeowners who don’t want to grant Dominion access to their land.
The Dominion pipeline rips through historical areas and key tourism centers and will hurt our local economy and kill jobs. Experts warn that the Dominion pipeline will compromise the safety and quality of our drinking water. The pipeline is a terrible legacy to leave for our children and future generations.
This is all pain. Where is the gain? This is our land. Take a stand. Don’t let Dominion take it away!
Taylor Smack, Co-Owner of Blue Mountain Brewery – Afton, VA
Since opening in 2007, Blue Mountain Brewery has helped to transform Nelson County into a beer and cider lovers’ destination of choice as a pioneer in local, sustainable craft brewing practices and a model of rural small business growth. Blue Mountain began with only eight employees but now employs 160 people who depend on clean water and undisturbed farmland to produce their superior product. Owner Taylor Smack knows what it means to work strategically to advance a business and improve its bottom line, but he believes a company is obligated to act responsibly at the same time. “[There is] nothing wrong with shareholder gain,” Smack says, “but you cannot steal people’s property to do it. It’s not the way the world works. That’s not the country I want to live in.”
Jerry Bryant, Private Property Owner – Churchville, VA
For Jerry Bryant, a small cabin tucked in the George Washington National Forest has long been a place of refuge and contemplation, and he hopes that he and his wife will live here full-time when they retire. However, looking out at the wilderness surrounding his cabin now means contemplating orange flags marking the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If Dominion’s current plans are approved, the ACP will bisect Bryant’s property, disturbing a creek bed and jeopardizing water quality and supply. “This is likely going to disturb water supply in ways we don’t know yet,” Bryant says. Thinking beyond his dream of retiring on the land he treasures, he worries for future generations too and for the land itself. He warns, “The damage of this pipeline could last forever.”
Middle School Anti-Pipeline Club – Staunton, VA
Virginia’s children are bright and forward-thinking, and many are worried about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and what it will mean for the safety, environmental sustainability, and beauty of their communities. In Staunton, Virginia, a group of middle school students banded together to form their own club to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. These kids share concerns about water quality, public safety, and destruction of the land they have come to love, but they also worry about what will become of the hulking, invasive Atlantic Coast Pipeline decades from now when Virginia may be relying on more sustainable forms of energy. Anna Trybus asks, “The pipeline may be useful now, but in 30 years when I’m an adult and have children, what may become of the pipeline?”
Chief Sharon Bryant and Tribal Council Member Karenne Wood – Monacan Indian Nation, Madison Heights, VA
As contemporary leaders of the Monacan Indian Nation, Sharon Bryant and Karenne Wood are responsible not only for promoting unity, advocacy, and education within and about the Monacan Nation but also for helping to preserve what remains of more than 10,000 years of tribal history in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sharon Bryant is deeply concerned not only for Monacan culture and heritage but for all Virginians in the pipeline’s path: “I feel afraid for the future of my people, for the future of sacred sites that might be along that line. I feel afraid for the agricultural communities in that area. I feel afraid for the people who live on the shifting hillsides along that way and the people who will have to drink the water.”
The Rev. James Rose – Wingina, VA
The Rev. James Rose is working to defend his property against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline not only because he calls it home but because his land holds a cemetery spanning two centuries of the Rose family. This cemetery is the final resting place of many, including former slaves who purchased the land after Emancipation, making it an important landmark in Virginia’s African-American history. The potential impacts on the Rose family cemetery is just one example of countless African-American heritage sites at risk if the ACP proceeds as planned. But Rev. Rose is resolute: “I’m not going to sell my soul,” he insists. “I might lose, but I’m going to fight, not only for myself but for the African-American community and for residents of Nelson County whose lives have been disrupted by this pipeline.”
Scott and Sally Shomo, Farmers – Staunton, VA
For more than a century, the Shomo family has owned and operated a farm in Augusta County, and, for just as long, family members have been known throughout the region for raising premium crops and cattle and taking pride in their thriving business. But the Shomo farm is now in danger of being compromised by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which threatens the quality of crops and cattle and the Shomo family’s autonomy as decision makers regarding their own property. “We’re going to be told what we can do on our own land, and that’s a problem when we abide by the laws, and we’re doing what we know is best for our land, for our crops, for our cattle,” says Sally Shomo. “We don’t want to grow pipelines.” Scott and Sally Shomo worry about the next generation of their family’s business – they don’t want to pass the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on to their children and grandchildren along side their prosperous farm operation.
Jack Wilson, Owner of White’s Wayside Diner – Churchville, VA
White’s Wayside began serving its famous Whiteway Bread more than 86 years ago. First sold to cattle drovers moving their herds west from Staunton to Highland County and West Virginia, the bread’s fame spread far and wide and has even been served in the White House in Washington, D.C. After years of being closed, Jack and Mary Wilson are reopening the historic diner and are again serving the famous bread. Mary Wilson says that their bread can only be made with clean, fresh Shenandoah spring water, the quality of which is threatened by the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion claims that small businesses like White’s Wayside will benefit from the pipeline, but Jack Wilson doesn’t agree. “I’m painted as somebody who would gain from this in having more customers, but that’s temporary,” Wilson says. He adds that bigger is not always better for quality or ambience: “We’re not geared up for that onslaught. We’re trying to preserve the environment by limiting [the restaurant] to 20 seats.”