Silence about Manchin and the MVP is Compliance with Violence

Reporting from E&E News Energy Wire that ‘Manchin Deal might not save the Mountain Valley Pipeline’ gives hope, but the fight will continue

A convoy of gas trucks rumble through downtown Weston, W.Va. at lunchtime in 2014.

WESTON, W.Va. – We read in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything, including a time to be silent and a time to speak. By now, I had hoped to be silent. As a pensioner, I was hoping to hang out with my family, do some hiking, and to travel a bit. In short, I’m just trying to live a peaceful life. The only problem is that corruption and violence is so rampant that it can’t be ignored.

Silence in the face of violence is compliance with it. (To hear a beautiful take on that notion, listen to “Medicine” by the Americana band Rising Appalachia). So my season of silence is over.

Joe Manchin

For nearly a decade, before I tried to step back a few months ago, I had written more than 100 articles about the public health, safety and environmental dangers of fracking and related pipeline development. I’ve also written about Mountaintop Removal and efforts by environmental activists to protect the pristine Appalachian Mountains. What West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and his fossil fuel cronies have inflicted upon the people and land of West Virginia and Virginia in attempting to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is nothing short of a violent assault upon the people and land.

In building the now-abandoned Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the MVP, energy companies EQT, Duke Energy and Dominion and their subcontractors have been ruthless, as the articles below reveal. (Note: some links within articles may no longer be valid). This collective chronicle of the gas industry’s tactics reveal deceit, threats and destruction. The MVP remains uncompleted only because of the people in its path. A coalition of individuals and groups have stalled it primarily through successful legal and regulatory challenges, not to mention dogged determination.

These articles – the first published Aug. 4 2014 – demonstrate what a roller-coaster ride of emotions and betrayal landowners and environmentalists have experienced. They succeeded in shutting down the ACP and had the MVP on the ropes. Investors were nervous.

However, it appeared that all of that work against the MVP may have been undone in a behind-closed-doors deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Manchin to get Manchin’s essential vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. That deal was supposed to streamline the permitting process for the MVP. However, E&E News Energy Wire is reporting that may not be enough to salvage the beleaguered and long-delayed project. According to the article, a primary obstacle may be legislation announced and sponsored by West Virginia’s other Senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito. The Republican proposal is picking up bi-partisan support. The E&E News article details how legal and regulatory challenges could still derail the MVP should the proposal pass, as it would not allow the MVP to bypass judicial review.

Though this is hopeful news, this fight is far from over. There is simply too much money changing hands. So, keep up with this story and support any effort to thwart the shady dealings of Schumer and Manchin.

These articles would not have been possible without the cooperation of my family and the subjects of the articles. They are the brave souls willing to share their stories, allowing me insight, facts and documents to support my enterprise and investigative reporting; additionally, contributions from other writers have served to enrich our reporting.

So, while it may take you a while, please read through the articles below. You will see that the fossil fuel industry hasn’t changed tactics in over a century. Only this time, instead of using Baldwin-Felt thugs to do their dirty work as they did during the West Virginia Mine Wars in the early 1920s, today’s energy executives hatch their plots on Manchin’s “Almost Heaven” yacht moored on the Potomac River.

‘Fractured Sanctuary’ Art Exhibit to Explore Impact of Mountaintop Removal and Fracking

Unanswered Questions

Reluctant Activist

From ‘Almost Heaven’ to Almost Hell

Incompetence and Complacency Increase Dangers from Fracking

A Mother’s Quarrel with West Virginia

Voices Out of the Wilderness

Victim in Fracking Truck Accident had Warned Commissioners of Roadway Dangers

Area Group to Host Forum on Fracking and Pipeline Issues

Fracking Forum a Time to Learn, Unify and Act

Learning by Listening

Dominion is a Bully, not a Community Builder

More than Woods and Streams Destroyed Shen Wild Places are Defiled

Lent Offers Opportunity to Reflect Upon Environmental Stewardship

A Dirty Dozen Reasons to Oppose Fracking

EQT Letter Characterized as ‘Misleading’ and ‘Bullying’

Environmental Groups Align Efforts to Challenge FERC Pipeline Projects

FERC Challenged to be Truly Independent

Federal and State Agencies Targeted for Lax Oversight of Mountaintop Removal

Citing Medical Studies, Activists Call for End to Mountaintop Removal Permits 

The Conflict between Dominion Theory and and Stewardship

A Pivotal Moment for West Virginia’s Eminent Domain Law

Provisions of W.Va. Storage Tank Law Undermine its Stated Intent

West Virginia Church Earns Award for Solar Energy Use

Breaking Ground, Breaking Hearts

Fracking Poses Threats to Public Health, Say Experts

Standing Their Ground

WVDEP Secretary Randy Huffman Says Charleston Politics Limits Agency’s Influence

Catholic Committee of Appalachia Issues Statement on Applying the Pope’s Encyclical

Appalachian Residents Joining Hands in Opposition to Pipelines and Fracking

Environmental Scientists, Activists Applaud Mountain Valley Pipeline Ruling

West Virginians and Pennsylvanians Standing in Solidarity Against the Natural Gas Industry

West Virginia Residents in Heart of Fracking Fields Join in National Action

West Virginia Pipeline Project Cited for Numerous Violations

Groups Work to Bring the Public Voice into Pipeline Projects

Natural Gas Pipelines, the Drumbeats of War and Our Sense of Entitlement

Ecological Groups Take on West Virginia AG over Clean Power Plan

Ecological Monitoring Group Challenges Va. Governor to be Transparent about Pipelines

Citizen Groups Organizing in Response to Fracking

West Virginia’s Top Story of 2015: People and Land Under Assault

As W.Va. Legislature Convenes, Root Cause of Elk River Spill Remains, Say Researchers

Poor Emergency Planning in West Virginia Puts Citizens at Risk

U.S. Forest Service Puts the Brakes on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Citizen Groups to Unite for Water Justice in West Virginia and Beyond

Proposed ‘New’ Route for ACP No Better Than One Rejected, Say Opponents

ACP Costs Outweigh Benefits, Claims Independent Study

Jury in Pennsyvania’s Fracking Case See Clear Value in Lives and Property

‘You Make Us Want to Leave’

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Not a Done Deal

West Virginia Catholic Diocese Challenged to Reject Coal’s ‘Dirty Money’

Virginia Officials Agree to Demands from Advocacy about Pipeline Deliberations

Citizens Encouraged to Request Public Hearings about MVP

MVP Would Cost Impacted Communities Billions of Dollars Asserts Study

Is This Fair?

FERC Independence Challenged by Nonprofits

An Open Letter to W.Va. Governor Jim Justice and DEP Secretary Caperton

Why People Deny Global Warming Clues

Pipeline Proposal Raises Questions that Beg for Answers

Where are the Courageous and Visionary Leaders?

A Haiku for Earth

Mountaintop Removal’s Health Impacts Examined

The Power Behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Mural Project Highlights Endangered Species

Our Way of Life

Alpha Natural Resources Ordered to Justify Mountaintop Removal Mine Permit

Virginia DEQ Criticized for Failing to Properly Study Pipeline Impacts

ASU Student Uses Art to Teach Peers about MTR

Learning by Teaching

Virginia DEQ Ignores Requests for Pipeline Comments

North Carolina Law Enforcement Wrong to Target Pipeline Opponents

Reflecting (Again) on Laudato Si’ – the Ecological Encyclical by Pope Francis

Why and How the People are Leading on Climate Issues

A ‘Lonesome Friend of Science’ Presses On

Mother Earth Needs Her Children

Appalachia a ‘Sacred Place Calling for a Spiritual Solution, Says Forum Speaker

‘Living the Sermon on the Mount’ in the Midst of Chaos

Laying the Groundwork for Sustainable Farm Businesses

Highlights from the Sustainable Living Forum

April Pierson-Keating: The Best of West Virginia

Solar for Energy Security

Lessons from Monongah Ignored for More than a Century

The First Earth Day

Earth Day Wisdom from a West Virginia Teenager

The Deceived ‘god’

‘Pray and Delay’ v. Dominion, Duke

Dominion and Duke Abandon the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Biden Wrong about Fracking

Outrage Fatigue

Good Trouble

Environmentalists Outrages as Standards Changed to Help MVP

SW Virginia Coal Plant Faces Early Closure

Clean Water: The People Speak as WV Legislators Decline Hearings

Three Years of Aerial Resistance

The Biblical Response to Disaster Requires Surrender

New Solar Fund a Rare Chance for Appalachian Leaders

The Climate Emergency and Appalachia

Reluctant Activist Fight Fossil Fuels

Manchin Fails Basic Question: Why Choose to Lead?

MVP Legal Setbacks Give Breathing Space to Opponents

Black Miners in the Battle of Blair Mountain

The 1972 Buffalo Creek Disaster is a History Lesson Ignored

Manchin Lying about Mountain Valley Pipeline, Says Landowner

Manchin is Dead Wrong on Fossil Fuels, Insists MVP Opponent Maury Johnson

Maury Johnson: Fierce Friend of Mother Earth

Has Manchin’s Brain Been Fried by Our Climate Emergency?

© Michael M. Barrick, 2022.


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